Atmel joins industry-academic alliance to create new IC R&D center

September 26, 2001 – Heilbronn, Germany – Atmel Corp., together with Multilink Technology Corp. and United Monolithic Semiconductors, has teamed up with the U. of Ulm to create a joint R&D group operated in public-private partnership. Named Competence Center on Integrated Circuits in Communications, the new entity will be located on the U. of Ulm’s campus in Ulm, Germany. It will conduct R&D activities on ICs primarily for analog functions in wireless and high-speed optoelectronic systems, using Atmel’s Silicon/ Silicon-Germanium and United Monolithic Semiconductors’ Gallium-Arsenide processing facilities. Aside from circuit design, the center will also be active in semiconductor device modeling as well as device and circuit characterization.

“Our goal is to exploit synergistic design effects between broadband wireless and opto-electronic applications, as well as between different semiconductor technologies,” explained Professor Hermann Schumacher, who will direct the center’s operations. Examples for projects undertaken are high linearity amplifiers for today’s challenging CDMA systems, and front-end ICs for high-end, long-haul fiberoptic communication systems operating at 40 GHz and beyond. Demonstrating the importance of wireless and opto-electronic techniques to students in the course of master and doctoral theses, the center will also assist its industrial partners in recruiting well-trained staff.

The industrial partners will use the center to generate new ideas on topologies and applications — ideas which may lead to commercial products which then will be developed in industrial development centers.

The center is supported by payments from the industrial partners, while the U. of Ulm has made available offices, laboratories as well as computational and characterization infrastructure. Startup funding has been made available by the State of Baden-Wurttemberg’s Ministry of Science, Research and Art. A substantial contribution has been secured also from the Stifterverband fur die deutsche Wissenschaft, an industry-led scientific funding organization, as part of a larger grant program designed to explore new ways of industry-academic cooperation. The center will also participate in publicly funded R&D projects, and solicits collaboration with additional industrial partners.

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