small business perspective of the Chips Act

As a small U.S. semiconductor packaging company, Mosaic Microsystems is very supportive of the CHIPS Act and looks forward to contributing to the efforts being taken to strengthen the U.S. semiconductor industry.

Our business focuses on the use of glass for substrates and interposers, which are critical technologies required by the industry to maintain a rapid pace of integration and innovation and essential aspects of building a strong U.S. semiconductor supply chain.

With the slowing of Moore’s Law, more efforts are being placed on package-level integration.

Substrates play a critical role in advanced packaging. AI is pushing the limits of existing high-density interconnect substrates both in terms of feature size and thermal management. 5G is ushering in the era of mm-wave communications, which will require substantial innovations in design, with low-loss substrates playing a key role.

Glass has many properties that make it an attractive material for substrates and interposers.  Mosaic’s thin glass provides dimensional stability, small vias, and line widths/spacing, smooth surfaces, high resistivity, and low dielectric loss. Having a strong position in glass-based packaging will help the U.S. leapfrog foreign competition.

The CHIPS Act recognizes the critical importance of advanced packaging to the semiconductor industry as well as to the U.S. economy and national defense. While the U.S. accounts for 12% of IC fabrication, it only has 3% of the packaging market and essentially no IC substrate capability.  These are Achilles heels for the U.S. There will be substantial investments in packaging from all three major components of the Act – the $39 billion incentives program, the $11 billion R&D program, and the $2 billion DoD ME Commons program.

Mosaic has been active in helping shape these programs by submitting responses to multiple requests for information issued by the Department of Defense and Department of Commerce, attending and participating in industry and government-led symposia, and participating in groups such as the American Semiconductor Innovation Coalition (ASIC).  In addition to advocating for investments in packaging in general — and substrates and interposers in particular — we have been advocating for support for small businesses and regional cluster development.  Small businesses are an important source of innovation and job growth for the U.S. semiconductor industry.

We have made multiple recommendations to NIST and the DoD on how to support small businesses and startups. As the CHIPS Act funding becomes available, Mosaic plans on having an important role in helping the U.S. build and grow its IC packaging substrate and interposer capabilities. In the Incentives program, we anticipate there will be funding for small businesses that plan to scale.

Mosaic is committed to growing its U.S. glass substrate and interposer manufacturing operations in Rochester, N.Y., and scaling it to high volume. In the R&D program, Mosaic is working with ASIC and other groups to identify technologies and research projects to be funded under the National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program.  And Mosaic is looking for opportunities to participate in both the Hubs and Cores portions of the ME Commons program.  Mosaic looks forward to continuing to help shape and participate in the CHIPS programs.


Paul Ballentine

Paul Ballentine is the founder and President, of Mosaic Microsystems. He brings experience in the semiconductor…

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