Moore's Lobby Podcast

US Semi Fab SkyWater Seeks to Co-innovate in Quantum, Photonics, and…Free Silicon?

Episode #51 / 58:42 / September 13, 2022 by Daniel Bogdanoff
Episode Sponsor: Industry Tech Days

SkyWater CTO Steven Kosier explains how a US-based semiconductor foundry is innovating in the silicon world without chasing Moore’s Law scaling. This includes efforts in superconductors, quantum, photonics, biosensing, and heterogeneous integration.

As we think about advancements in the semiconductor world, it is typically focused on nanometer feature sizes and new transistor technologies like FinFETs and RibbonFETs. However, Steven Kosier, CTO of SkyWater points out that:


"At any particular technology node, there are all sorts of other things that silicon can do to improve the world…power management efficiencies…superconducting chips…silicon photonics chips…and microfluidic chips. There are all sorts of things that you can do with the same equipment set and a little ingenuity."


In this Moore’s Lobby interview, host Daniel Bogdanoff and Steven Kosier discuss the unique challenges and opportunities available at a pure-play semiconductor fab that focuses on technology co-creation with customers that need to develop and manufacture new technologies.


SkyWater supports diverse semiconductor and technology categories. Image used courtesy of SkyWater


In one of the most interesting sections, Steven explains how chip designers can get access to free EDA tools, download free IP libraries, and manufacture free 130 nm silicon ICs in collaboration with Google and eFabless. Did I mention free? Here I will echo Steven’s comment:


"There's nothing stopping you from designing a chip and changing the world with it…You can go do it right now. And it's just awesome!”


Other highlights from this engaging discussion about semiconductor technology and foundry business include:

  • SkyWater’s collaboration with Purdue University to create a new innovation center for creating new technologies and educating the next generation of semiconductor engineers
  • Steven’s interesting entrance into the electrical engineering world
  • Why accelerated radiation testing for satellite electronics doesn’t always work


A Big Thank You to Our Sponsors! 



Meet Steven Kosier

Steven Kosier is the Chief Technology Officer at SkyWater where he is responsible for the Advanced Technology Services (ATS) business execution within SkyWater as well as the company’s strategic technology partnerships, its technology roadmap, and IP strategy, and growing the value of its technology portfolio.  

Steven has over 25 years of experience in the semiconductor industry in technical, marketing, and business leadership positions. He was a founding member of the PolarFab and Polar Semiconductor wafer foundries and has worked on multiple generations of analog, mixed-signal, and high-voltage semiconductor technologies for the automotive and industrial markets. 



Steven is also an adjunct professor in the EE Department at Vanderbilt University.  His research interests are the physics of semiconductor device reliability and radiation effects on microelectronics.

Kosier received his BSEE from the University of Minnesota and an MSEE and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Arizona. He holds 14 U.S. patents and has authored or co-authored more than 30 technical publications in areas that include radiation effects and high voltage and power semiconductor devices.