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IBM, Government of Canada, Government of Quebec Sign Agreements to Strengthen Canada's Semiconductor Industry

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IBM, the Government of Canada, and the Government of Quebec have signed agreements to strengthen Canada's semiconductor industry with an investment of up to $187M CAD. The agreements focus on advancing chip packaging capabilities, R&D for scalable manufacturing, and fostering collaborations with small and medium-sized Canadian-based enterprises. The initiative aims to enhance Canada's role in the North American semiconductor supply chain and establish a corridor of semiconductor innovation from New York to Bromont.

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The strategic collaboration between IBM and the Canadian governments marks a significant commitment to bolstering the semiconductor industry within Canada. By focusing on the expansion of chip packaging capacity and enhancing research and development efforts, this initiative is expected to contribute to the robustness of North America's semiconductor supply chain.

Given the growing complexity in chip packaging due to the miniaturization of electronic devices and the introduction of advanced technologies like IBM's 2 nanometer chip, the significance of such improvements is clear. The semiconductor industry is rapidly evolving and packaging plays a critical role in the performance and functionality of microelectronic products.

With the semiconductor industry being pivotal in a multitude of sectors, including telecommunications, automotive and aerospace, advancements in this space are likely to have broad-reaching implications. The influx of investment can foster innovation, potentially leading to the development of more advanced, efficient and smaller semiconductor components which could in turn be beneficial for companies involved in these sectors.

From an economic perspective, the $187M CAD investment is a powerful driver for job creation and economic development in the Quebec region. It resonates with the global trend of reinforcing domestic technological capabilities amidst a competitive and geopolitical landscape where control of semiconductor supply chains is paramount.

The implications of such a move extend beyond immediate job growth, potentially anchoring Canada as a significant player in the international semiconductor market. This could stimulate the local economy through increased trade opportunities and collaborations. Additionally, the focus on integrating small and medium Canadian enterprises into the ecosystem hints at a trickle-down effect, where the growth of the semiconductor industry could catalyze improvements across multiple economic sectors.

Up to $187M CAD to be invested to progress expansion of chip packaging capacity and capabilities and to strengthen R&D at IBM Canada's Bromont plant

BROMONT, QC, April 26, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM), the Government of Canada, and the Government of Quebec today announced agreements that will strengthen Canada's semiconductor industry, and further develop the assembly, testing and packaging (ATP) capabilities for semiconductor modules to be used across a wide range of applications including telecommunications, high performance computing, automotive, aerospace & defence, computer networks, and generative AI, at IBM Canada's plant in Bromont, Quebec. The agreements reflect a combined investment valued at approximately $187M CAD.

"Today's announcement is a massive win for Canada and our dynamic tech sector. It will create high-paying jobs, invest in innovation, strengthen supply chains, and help make sure the most advanced technologies are Canadian-made. Semiconductors power the world, and we're putting Canada at the forefront of that opportunity," said the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada.

In addition to the advancement of packaging capabilities, IBM will be conducting R&D to develop methods for scalable manufacturing and other advanced assembly processes to support the packaging of different chip technologies, to further Canada's role in the North American semiconductor supply chain and expand and anchor Canada's capabilities in advanced packaging.

The agreements also allow for collaborations with small and medium-sized Canadian-based enterprises with the intent of fostering the development of a semiconductor ecosystem, now and into the future.

"IBM has long been a leader in semiconductor research and development, pioneering breakthroughs to meet tomorrow's challenges. With the demand for compute surging in the age of AI, advanced packaging and chiplet technology is becoming critical for the acceleration of AI workloads," said Darío Gil, IBM Senior Vice President and Director of Research. "As one of the largest chip assembly and testing facilities in North America, IBM's Bromont facility will play a central role in this future. We are proud to be working with the governments of Canada and Quebec toward those goals and to build a stronger and more balanced semiconductor ecosystem in North America and beyond."

IBM Canada's Bromont plant is one of North America's largest chip assembly and testing facilities, having operated in the region for 52 years. Today, the facility transforms advanced semiconductor components into state-of-the-art microelectronic solutions, playing a key role in IBM's semiconductor R&D leadership alongside IBM's facilities at the Albany NanoTech Complex and throughout New York's Hudson Valley. These agreements will help to further establish a corridor of semiconductor innovation from New York to Bromont. 

"Advanced packaging is a crucial component of the semiconductor industry, and IBM Canada's Bromont plant has led the world in this process for decades," said Deb Pimentel, president of IBM Canada. "Building upon IBM's 107-year legacy of technology innovation and R&D in Canada, the Canadian semiconductor industry will now become even stronger, allowing for robust supply chains and giving Canadians steady access to even more innovative technologies and products. This announcement represents just one more example of IBM's leadership and commitment to the country's technology and business landscape."

Chip packaging, the process of connecting integrated circuits on a chip or circuit board, has become more complex as electronic devices have shrunk and the components of chips themselves get smaller and smaller. IBM announced the world's first 2 nanometer chip technology in 2021 and, as the semiconductor industry moves towards new methods of chip construction, advances in packaging will grow in importance. 

"Semiconductors are part of our everyday life. They are in our phones, our cars, and our appliances. Through this investment, we are supporting Canadian innovators, creating good jobs, and solidifying Canada's semiconductor industry to build a stronger economy. Canada is set to play a larger role in the global semiconductor industry thanks to projects like the one we are announcing today. Because, when we invest in semiconductor and quantum technologies, we invest in economic security."  — The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

"This investment by IBM in Bromont will ensure that Quebec continues to stand out in the field of microelectronics. An increase in production capacity will solidify Quebec's position in the strategic microelectronics sector in North America." — The Honourable Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy, Innovation and Energy, Minister responsible for Regional Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Metropolis and the Montreal region

About IBM
IBM is a leading provider of global hybrid cloud and AI, and consulting expertise. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. More than 4,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM's hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM's breakthrough innovations in semiconductors, AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and consulting deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM's legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service. Visit www.ibm.com for more information. 

Media Contact
Lorraine Baldwin
IBM Canada
lorraine@ca.ibm.com 

Willa Hahn
IBM Research
Willa.Hahn@ibm.com

 

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SOURCE IBM

FAQ

What agreements were announced by IBM, the Government of Canada, and the Government of Quebec?

IBM, the Government of Canada, and the Government of Quebec have signed agreements to strengthen Canada's semiconductor industry.

What is the total investment value of the agreements?

The combined investment value of the agreements is approximately $187M CAD.

What will the agreements focus on in terms of semiconductor industry development?

The agreements focus on advancing chip packaging capabilities, R&D for scalable manufacturing, and fostering collaborations with small and medium-sized Canadian-based enterprises.

What is the significance of the initiative for Canada's semiconductor industry?

The initiative aims to enhance Canada's role in the North American semiconductor supply chain and establish a corridor of semiconductor innovation from New York to Bromont.

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