Canadian government ups semiconductor focus, invests $36 million in Ranovus

Ranovus investment part of a $100-million project to advance Canadian semiconductor manufacturing, production.

Ottawa-based Ranovus has secured $36 million CAD through the Canadian federal government’s Strategic Innovation Fund. The funds will help support a $100 million project to advance domestic production and manufacturing of semiconductor products and services

The announcement follows United States (US) President Joe Biden’s visit to Canada, where he and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed to work together to create a strong, environmentally responsible, and resilient North American critical minerals supply chain. The Canadian government’s semiconductor investments are about positioning Canada as a key player in this strategic industry.

Last year, Canada committed to provide up to $250 million CAD for semiconductor projects.

As part of the Canada-US agreement, with the passage of the CHIPS and Science Act, Canada and the United States will facilitate investment to promote secure and resilient semiconductor supply chains, creating jobs in both countries.

Both countries have agreed to a cross-border packaging corridor, beginning with Canada and IBM providing a significant investment to develop new and expanded packaging and testing capabilities at its Bromont facility.

To strengthen advanced packaging for semiconductors and printed circuit boards in North America, the United States announced an additional $50 million USD in Defense Production Act funding for US and Canadian companies to advance packaging for semiconductors and printed circuit boards.

Last year, Canada committed to provide up to $250 million CAD for semiconductor projects from the Strategic Innovation Fund in the near term.

The Ranovus project aims to develop the highest performing and most power-efficient technologies for interconnect computer chips for next-generation artificial intelligence work. This is meant to further leverage Canadian semiconductor and compound semiconductor manufacturing capacity and silicon photonics expertise, and allow Ranovus to be a leader in its field while contributing to significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from data centres.

With this contribution, Ranovus will also increase its workforce in Canada to 200 full-time employees and provide opportunities to 150 Canadian co-op students. This contribution is also part of the Government of Canada’s intellectual property (IP) rich initiative, ensuring that innovative, IP-rich firms are grown into world leaders. This will help accelerate Ranovus’s development of IP in Canada, as this project is expected to produce 40 new patents.

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Ranovus, established in 2012 by a group of technology industry veterans, is focused on next-generation technology that targets the internal communication networks of data centres and offers significant power and cost savings compared to existing technology.

The Strategic Innovation Fund first funded Ranovus in 2018 with $20 million to support the development and construction of next-generation data infrastructure centres designed to reduce the environmental impact of data processing while also doubling the capacity of these centres.

The latest investments in semiconductor technology come as Biden issued a joint pledge with Trudeau to stand together against authoritarian regimes in part by reducing their dependence on other countries for critical minerals and semiconductors, news service Reuters reported.

“Canada and the United States are taking a significant step toward the creation of reliable and sustainable critical mineral supply chains that are vital to our economic and national security and demonstrate the commitment of the United States to support Canadian companies in the energy economy,” the US and Canadian leaders said in their joint statement.

Charles Mandel

Charles Mandel

Charles Mandel's reporting and writing on technology has appeared in, Canadian Business, Report on Business Magazine, Canada's National Observer, The Globe and Mail, and the National Post, among many others. He lives off-grid in Nova Scotia.

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