As SkyWater expansion shows, government’s role in U.S. chip industry is rising

The U.S. semiconductor industry may need to rely more heavily on government investment to build new plants in coming years, executives and officials said Monday at an event marking the expansion of Minnesota’s largest chip factory.

The growing cost of new chip factories — the most advanced of which exceed $10 billion — and the need to keep up with chipmakers in countries where government help is common are pushing the U.S. chip industry and government together in a way not seen since the 1980s.

The U.S. Department of Defense paid $170 million to fund SkyWater Technology Inc.’s third clean room at its factory near the Mall of America in Bloomington.

The company will use the room, which is bigger than the size of a football field and about four stories in height, in part to build radiation-hardened chips. Such chips, known as rad-hard and a relatively small portion of

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Slovak COVID-19 infections keep rising, government calls troops to help

PRAGUE (Reuters) – Slovakia reported another daily record number of new coronavirus infections on Friday, prompting the government to call up hundreds of troops to help public health officials and warn of tighter restrictions on public life.

Some 1,184 newly infected people were identified on Thursday, the government said on Friday, bringing the total in the country of 5.5 million to 16,910. It has reported 57 deaths so far with 370 hospitalised as of Thursday.

“I am beginning to be concerned whether the measures adopted can be effective with such marked growth in the numbers of positive people,” Prime Minister Igor Matovic told a news conference.

Health Minister Marek Krajci said the “R” number estimating the speed of the spread of the infection was around 1.4, which translates to a doubling of new infections in a week.

The government has approved up to 1,500 troops to be available to help

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White House says rising COVID-19 cases not disrupting U.S. government

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The rise in COVID-19 cases among officials in Washington is not disrupting the U.S. government, the White House said on Tuesday, as the nation’s top military leaders moved into quarantine and at least two more White House staffers were reported to have been infected.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump poses atop the Truman Balcony of the White House after taking off his mask as he returns to the White House after being hospitalized at Walter Reed Medical Center for coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Washington, U.S. October 5, 2020. REUTERS/Erin Scott

Asked if the spread of the novel coronavirus among staff in the Trump administration and Republican U.S. senators was harming the federal government’s ability to function, spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany, speaking from isolation after testing positive herself, told Fox Business Network: “Not in the slightest.”

“We are regularly meeting,” although some staff must attend remotely, she said.

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