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Purdue University touts new partnership bringing “first Midwest semiconductor design center” to the region

Purdue announces partnership to bring semiconductor design facility to West Lafayette (WBAA News/Ben Thorp)

Purdue University announced a new partnership this week with a Taiwan-based semiconductor manufacturer, MediaTek.

As part of the partnership, the company will bring a chip design center to West Lafayette.

Semiconductor chips are used in numerous electronic devices, including phones, TVs, and even cars. A global shortage of the hardware has prompted some chip manufacturers to ask Congress for billions of dollars in funding to help build semiconductor facilities locally.

A Purdue press release underlined steps the school has already taken to address the demand for chips, pointing to the launch of its semiconductor degrees program.

Purdue professor of electrical and computer engineering Vijay Raghunathan said the new facility is part of an effort to bring more chip production to the US - and specifically Indiana.

“This really sets the stage for us to go after some of those other pieces of the puzzle,” he said. “Now that we have an example of a design house we can build those synergies and hopefully have a manufacturing house come in.”

Raghunathan said for MediaTek, the goal is to access some of the student talent coming out of Purdue University.

“Perhaps the ultimate supply chain in this place is human talent,” he said. “Being located so close and in such tight collaboration with a leading organization such as Purdue gives them access to one of the largest engineering programs and one of the largest semiconductor programs that exists in the nation today.”

The timeline of the partnership has not yet been released to the public.