The Hunt for the Kill-Switch
Well into the 1970s, the U.S. military's status as one of the largest consumers of integrated circuits gave it some control over the industry's production and manufacturing, so the offshoring trend didn't pose a big problem. The Pentagon could always find a domestic fab and pay a little more to make highly classified and mission-critical chips. The DOD also maintained its own chip-making plant at Fort Meade, near Washington, D.C., until the early 1980s, when costs became prohibitive.
Apparently, this fabrication plant was recently retrofitted and brought back online in 1990.
NSA seeking new business for in-house CMOS wafer fab
Operating the $200 million-plus NSA facility since 1990 has been National Semiconductor Corp., in Santa Clara, Calif. The NSA fab includes a 20,000-square-foot class-10 cleanroom for fabrication and a 4,800-square-foot class 1000 packaging center. The original idea was to service NSA`s own needs in the intelligence arena, particularly for old components that executives of commercial semiconductor firms are either unable or unwilling to produce. Now the facility is ramping up to service the needs of other federal agencies and programs, and is offering a complete one-stop shopping center for design, fabrication, assembly, and test.
Not much else is available about this Chip Fabrication Plant online.