Department of Defense Invests $39.9 Million to Strengthen U.S. PCB Supply Chains

By: Joe Corbisiero on November 16th, 2023

On November 15th, 2023, the U.S. Department of Defense awarded $39.9 million to Calumet Electronics Corporation through the Defense Production Act Investment (DPAI) Program. This investment aims to enhance Calumet's capabilities in producing High-Density Build-Up (HDBU) substrates, including High-Density Interconnect Printed Circuit Board (PrCB) cores and HDBU build-up layers. The award is a part of the Biden Administration's commitment to supporting the domestic PrCB and advanced packaging industrial base, recognizing their critical role in modern weapons systems and maintaining a strategic edge over potential adversaries.

This award will enable Calumet to scale up its engineering, tooling, and manufacturing operations, establishing domestic production capabilities for HDBU substrates. These substrates are crucial in sixth-generation systems and applications, such as radar, electronic warfare, processing, and communications.

Calumet Aims to Close IC Substrate Gap in U.S.

Last year, Calumet Electronics Corporation announced its goal to become a pioneer in the United States as one of the first integrated circuit (IC) substrate suppliers, addressing a critical gap in the domestic electronics supply chain. As the Biden Administration and the CHIPS Act aim to strengthen the domestic electronics ecosystem, Calumet's efforts to bring scalable IC substrate capacity to the U.S. align with the broader goal of reducing reliance on foreign sources.

The IC substrate industry is currently dominated by Asian suppliers, which presents a significant challenge for the U.S. supply chain. Onshoring manufacturing, especially for applications vital to national security, is critical for the U.S. to secure the supply chain. Calumet's role in developing advanced PCBs and substrates contributes to the resilience of the domestic microelectronics ecosystem and reduces dependencies on overseas sources.

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