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Center for Secure Microelectronics Ecosystems launched at Purdue with TSMC, Synopsys.

Banner image: Joerg Appenzeller (left) and Anand Raghunathan, Purdue professors of electrical and computer engineering, serve as co-directors of the Center for Secure Microelectronics Ecosystem (CSME).

Purdue University has launched the Center for Secure Microelectronics Ecosystem (CSME) with support from industry partners and a U.S. Department of Defense (DOD)-funded workforce development program.

CSME is a first-of-its-kind global partnership of academia, industry and government to advance research and workforce development in designing secure microelectronics. Its aim is to help ensure a secure supply of semiconductor chips and related products and tools, from the foundry to the packaged system, based on a zero-trust model.

Microelectronics underpin every U.S. defense system, and they are fundamental to global commercial technologies, such as 5G, autonomous transportation, drones, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, and more. However, there are increasing vulnerabilities at every level of the global electronics supply chain, and a secure supply of microelectronics is critical to U.S. national security and economic prosperity.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), one of the world’s largest semiconductor contract manufacturers, is an industry partner.

Purdue has secured funding for the consortium from TSMC and Synopsys, Inc., and through collaboration with the DOD-supported Scalable Asymmetric Lifecycle Engagement (SCALE) microelectronics workforce development program.

Synopsys, a U.S.-based global leader in electronic design automation (EDA) and semiconductor intellectual property, is the consortium’s founding EDA member. The company offers the industry’s broadest portfolio of application security testing tools and services.

CSME provides advanced training opportunities to SCALE participants, while SCALE supports CSME through graduate traineeships, addressing the urgent need for engineering graduates with microelectronics skills. At Purdue, the SCALE program, directed by Peter Bermel, Elmore Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, connects Purdue Engineering faculty with 14 other universities, the DOD, NASA, Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) labs, and the defense industry to create a microelectronics workforce focused on meeting national security requirements.

Secure microelectronics is a critical research focus area identified under Purdue’s National Security and Technology Initiative. The initiative is one of five designed to advance the university’s competitive advantage.