International Sematech broadens semi R&D services
AUSTIN, Tex.—In a move designed to meet increasing research and development needs within the semiconductor industry, International Sematech (www.sematech.org) has established the Advanced Technology Development Facility, Inc. (ATDF) as an independent subsidiary of its R&D wafer fab and related analytical labs.
According to Sematech President and CEO Mike Polcari, the initiative is complementary to the consortium's primary focus of building industry infrastructure, designed "to meet the more targeted R&D needs of individual companies and universities…to accelerate the commercialization of research, and foster innovation in the development of advanced technology, equipment, and materials." As part of a pilot program, ATDF has already been working with member and non-member companies, equipment and materials suppliers, and universities for the past year.
ATDF includes Sematech's 62,000-square-foot Class 1 cleanroom, which offers 200-mm and 300-mm processing capabilities, as well as the consortium's Process Characterization Laboratories that provide metrology and analytical services. The subsidiary is a privately held corporation with separate management and board of directors, and involves 240 Sematech employees. Additional positions, says new ATDF general manager Juergen Woehl, will be created as the company grows.
'ATDF will be the place where semiconductor research meets manufacturing," says Woehl. Customized services will include technology development and prototyping, wafer processing services for Sematech as well as external customers, and analytical and electrical testing services for advanced materials and device characterization.
Data and intellectual property belonging to participating customers and universities will be fully protected, and ATDF will also work with clients to develop industry-wide, accepted baseline processes for speeding development of new tools and materials for faster manufacturing at lower cost.
Immersion tech center
In another recent development, International Sematech established a 193-nm immersion Technology Center (iTC), which will bring together scientists and researchers who are developing the emerging lithography technology that uses the refractive properties of fluids to extend optical imaging in semiconductor manufacturing.
As one of the first major programs of the newly established Advanced Materials Research Center (AMRC; see www.cleanrooms.com, "Sematech, Texas form center for next-gen semiconductor research," May 2004, pg. 6), the iTC is part of the publicly and privately funded Texas Technology Initiative involving participation from the University of Texas system of colleges.
At the Sematech-sponsored Litho Forum held in January, industry representatives voted 193-nm immersion as the most promising new technology for semiconductor manufacturing in 2007 and 2009. To help prepare the industry, the iTC seeks to support development of photoresists, fluids and other components required for the high-numerical aperture technology. The Center will be staffed by Sematech technologists, who will work with manufacturers, suppliers, and research universities for a two- to four-year period.
The April 2004 issue of CleanRooms inaccurately identified two of the authors of the article entitled "Particle monitoring in minienvironments." Ray P. Lucero is responsible for all certification and sustaining of minienvironments at Intel's 300mm facility in Rio Rancho, N.M. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Scott L. Jorgensen is a microcontamination engineer at Intel/Rio Rancho and can be reached at: email@example.com.