IBM signs agreements to boost Canada’s semiconductor industry

the Canadian flag with a mountain landscape in the background | IBM signs agreements to boost Canada's semiconductor industry

IBM, in partnership with the governments of Canada and Quebec, has announced an agreement to help further strengthen the country’s semiconductor industry.

The agreements reflect a combined investment valued at approximately $137m in an effort to further boost the assembly, testing and packaging (ATP) capabilities for semiconductor modules used across a range of applications. Semiconductors are an essential part of industries such as telecommunications, high-performance computing, automotive, aerospace and defense, computer networks and generative AI, at IBM Canada’s plant in Bromont, Quebec.

As electronic devices have shrunk and the components of chips get smaller and smaller, chip packaging the process of connecting integrated circuits on a chip or circuit board – is becoming more complex. For this reason, new industry advances are becoming essential.

Justin Trudeau, prime minister of Canada, dubbed the latest announcement “a massive win” for Canada and its dynamic tech sector. “It will create high-paying jobs, invest in innovation, strengthen supply chains and help make sure the most advanced technologies are Canadian-made,” he added.

“Semiconductors power the world and we’re putting Canada at the forefront of that opportunity.”

In addition to the packaging advancements, IBM is planning R&D to develop methods for scalable manufacturing and other advanced assembly processes to support the packaging of different chip technologies, reinforcing Canada’s role in the North American semiconductor supply chain.

The partnership has also become a foundation for collaborations with small and medium-sized Canadian enterprises to foster the development of a semiconductor ecosystem.

“As one of the largest chip assembly and testing facilities in North America, IBM’s Bromont facility will play a central role in this future.

“We are proud to be working with the governments of Canada and Quebec toward those goals and to build a stronger and more balanced semiconductor ecosystem in North America and beyond,” said Darío Gil, senior vice president and director of research at IBM. 

The Bromont plant facility plays a key role in IBM’s semiconductor R&D leadership alongside IBM’s facilities at the Albany NanoTech Complex and throughout New York’s Hudson Valley. The latest agreements are poised to further establish a corridor of semiconductor innovation from New York to Bromont. 

Deb Pimentel, president of IBM Canada, added: “Building upon IBM’s 107-year legacy of technology innovation and R&D in Canada, the Canadian semiconductor industry will now become even stronger, allowing for robust supply chains and giving Canadians steady access to even more innovative technologies and products. 

IBM also recently announced the acquisition of a leading multi-cloud infrastructure automation company, HashiCorp, that enables organizations to automate their hybrid and multi-cloud environments. 

Boasting a set of more than 4,400 clients, including Bloomberg, Comcast, Deutsche Bank, GitHub, J.P Morgan Chase, Starbucks and Vodafone, HashiCorp’s acquisition is expected to deliver clients extensive application, infrastructure and security lifecycle management capabilities.