Construction Update

[Training]

The decision comes just days after luge officials also canceled that sport's season-ending World Cup and training week on the track built in Yanqing. The reason, in both cases, was the same: ongoing concerns about international travel during the coronavirus pandemic, which originated in China about a year ago. In a letter sent to national federations Saturday, International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation secretary general Heike Groesswang said several weeks of conversations were held about how to move forward with the training week and World Cup "under the challenging circumstances the COVID-19 pandemic causes to all of us." The new schedule calls for a bobsled training week in early October and a skeleton training week later in October. That means many nations will likely have to choose some semblance of their 2021-22 national teams by the end of this season, since most of the world's tracks won't be iced and operating before those training weeks in China are held. "A replacement for the World Cup in March 2021 will be announced next week," Groesswang said. USA Bobsled and Skeleton and USA Luge are sitting out the pre-Christmas portions of the World Cup schedules in those sports, as are several other nations, because of concerns about international travel and other pandemic-related issues. In a women's World Cup bobsled race in Latvia on Saturday, only six sleds finished the two runs. That was believed to be the smallest World Cup field since women began competing on the circuit. It's been tradition for at least the last five Olympic cycles for a World Cup event to be held on that track that will host the games the following winter, and those races have been critical in terms of teams collecting data and formulating an Olympic strategy.

https://www.espn.com/olympics/bobsled/story/_/id/30406178/bobsled-skeleton-olympic-test-event-china-called-amid-travel-concerns

[Training]

SkyWater CEO Thomas Sonderman, left, stands with Jeb Nadaner, deputy assistant secretary of defense for industrial policy, outside his company’s plant in Bloomington. (Submitted photo) But now it’s certainly putting us in a very nice position as we begin to repatriate the way semiconductor manufacturing is done.” SkyWater’s new clean room will specialize in part in making radiation-hardened or “rad-hard” semiconductors, Sonderman said. These chips, he said, work in “harsh environments, places where detonations can occur, places where you have a need for sensitivity to high degrees of radiation.” Applications include certain Space Force communications needs, superconducting technologies used for quantum computing, in which Sonderman said SkyWater is a leader, and medical devices. “Us being in the center of the medical device arena here in Minnesota leads to some interesting applications there,” Sonderman said. “It’s a capability that not only is unique but also well-timed because there is a lot of effort to commercialize space.” Jeb Nadaner, DoD deputy assistant secretary for industrial policy, told listeners at SkyWater’s event that the tech sector’s reliance on foreign chip suppliers and customers that have close ties to China creates new security challenges for the United States. Public-private partnerships are part of defense department strategy to counter that threat. “We as Americans must be assured that the chips our weapons and our equipment used by American troops and in our infrastructure for all our citizens operate as intended when they are needed most and that they’re not ‘exfiltrating’ the sensitive and personal and private data to people that do not wish us well,” Nadaner said. The new fabrication facility “is proof that large-scale and advanced manufacturing continues to be possible in the United States of America,” Ian Steff, Department of Commerce assistant secretary for global markets, said at the commissioning event. “Our domestic capabilities up and down the supply chain must increase … and will increase. This continues to be enabled by industry-driven approaches with government partnership to improve the investment climate as demonstrated here today.” description SkyWater, which has 500 employees, expects to add 50 by the time the new clean room is fully operating, Sonderman said. About 20% are engineers and about 20% of them have doctorate degrees. Another 20% of the workforce is former military “because what we do requires high degrees of precision and attention to detail” in working on pieces of equipment that can cost $1 million and up.

https://finance-commerce.com/2020/11/spotlight-skywater-aims-to-boost-secure-semiconductor-production/