Purdue University partners with leading global chipmaker on Midwest’s first semiconductor design center

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University’s College of Engineering is partnering with MediaTek Inc., a leading global fabless chipmaker, to open the Midwest’s first semiconductor chip design center, to be housed on Purdue’s campus.

Mung Chiang, Purdue’s John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering and executive vice president for strategic initiatives, joined Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb; Bradley B. Chambers and Don Graves, Indiana’s secretary of commerce and deputy secretary of commerce; and MediaTek leaders in hailing the announcement. Chiang is Purdue’s president-elect.

The center marks another piece of Purdue’s commitment in addressing society’s increasing semiconductor demands and the needed talent pool. In May, the university announced the launch of its Semiconductor Degrees Program, a comprehensive set of innovative, interdisciplinary degrees and credentials in semiconductors and microelectronics. The university also in May announced a partnership with Ivy Tech Community College to provide a variety of collaborative educational opportunities for faculty and students in microelectronics and to explore ways to attract more talent to this area.

MediaTek and Purdue also will partner on new chip design engineering degree programs, research on artificial intelligence, and communications chip design. This collaboration is still in the works.

“Attracting a world-class chip design firm to Indiana has been a longtime goal for our team,” Purdue President Mitch Daniels said. “I applaud Secretary Chambers, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and, of course, the whole team here at Purdue for doing the hard work necessary to get a global company to take a look at Indiana and all we have to offer. The MediaTek investment confirms Indiana’s emergence as a center of semiconductor technology and Purdue’s Discovery Park District as the state’s premier new economic engine.”

The idea for a new design center for MediaTek was born in 2021, when Gov. Holcomb traveled to Silicon Valley to pitch chip CEOs about Indiana’s commitment to the semiconductor industry. Combined with a follow-up invitation to visit Purdue from Daniels, the Purdue College of Engineering made its case for a first-of its-kind collaboration that included a new design center on campus.

“This means students at Purdue will have the opportunity to interact with world-class chip design talent right across the street,” Chiang said.

Chiang’s team worked with the IEDC to fully leverage Purdue’s role as one of the top engineering schools to attract this new semiconductor investment.

The Purdue partnership represents a new U.S. growth model for MediaTek USA — outside the traditional centers of gravity for chip design.

“We believe strongly that being in Indiana means we’ll have access to some of the best engineering talent in the world,” said Kou-Hung Lawrence Loh, corporate senior vice president of MediaTek Inc. and president of MediaTek USA Inc. “Not just at Purdue, but West Lafayette is only four hours away from nearly a dozen of the top engineering schools in the country. In the post-pandemic world, top candidates tell us they want to be closer to home, near family, and they want to have a real house and great public schools. Indiana offers all that and more.”

Chambers said, “Today’s MediaTek’s fabless design center investment is a testament to Indiana’s advanced manufacturing expertise, our world-class university talent combined with our state’s best-in-class, business-friendly climate and focus on higher-wage industries of the future. Our team fully expects that MediaTek’s announcement is just the beginning of semiconductor investment in Indiana, and in the coming years the AMPD (Accelerating Microelectronics Production and Development) ask force will be instrumental in facilitating further investment momentum from this critically important industry to the state.”

MediaTek has been partnering with U.S. universities on advanced research for more than a decade, but this latest project is unique in that a new center will be sited directly on campus and is an opportunity for students to both complete their engineering education and contribute directly to product design and solutions for a global team. The collaboration also will help bring more advanced semiconductor design talent to Indiana.

“As a global company, MediaTek has literally a world of options at its fingertips, and we couldn’t be more thrilled that they’ve chosen Indiana to grow and build the foundation and future of the semiconductor industry alongside the brightest minds in the world,” Holcomb said. “MediaTek chose a thriving, top-rated university with innovation expertise and a strong talent pipeline that will power these quality careers for decades to come.”

MediaTek officials shared the news with senior leaders, other international investors and policymakers during the 2022 SelectUSA Investment Summit in National Harbor, Maryland. The conference, now in its ninth year, is the largest annual forum for foreign direct investment in the U.S. It brings together business leaders from international markets and economic development representatives from all U.S. states and territories. MediaTek is a member of a large delegation from Taiwan participating in this year’s conference.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked in each of the last four years as one of the 10 Most Innovative universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at https://stories.purdue.edu.

About MediaTek Inc.

MediaTek Incorporated (TWSE: 2454) is a global fabless semiconductor company that enables nearly 2 billion connected devices a year. We are a market leader in developing innovative systems-on-chip for mobile device, home entertainment, connectivity and IoT products. Our dedication to innovation has positioned us as a driving market force in several key technology areas, including highly power-efficient mobile technologies, automotive solutions and a broad range of advanced multimedia products such as smartphones, tablets, digital televisions, 5G, voice assistant devices and wearables. MediaTek empowers and inspires people to expand their horizons and achieve their goals through smart technology, more easily and efficiently than ever before. We work with the brands you love to make great technology accessible to everyone, and it drives everything we do. Visit www.mediatek.com for more information.

About Indiana Economic Development Corporation

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) is charged with growing the State economy, driving economic development, helping businesses launch, grow and locate in the state. Led by Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers, @SecChambersIN, and governed by a 15-member board chaired by Governor Eric J. Holcomb, @GovHolcomb, the IEDC manages many initiatives, including performance-based tax credits, workforce training grants, innovation and entrepreneurship resources, public infrastructure assistance, and talent attraction and retention efforts. For more information about the IEDC, visit iedc.in.gov.

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