Semicon R&D joint labs to advance future electronics
Representing a commitment of $161 million between private and public sectors, A*STAR's Institute of Microelectronics (IME) and its 10 industry partners recently established four joint laboratories.
The Advanced Semiconductor Joint Labs will develop and advance semiconductor technologies for future electronics markets. Some of these include the development of next-generation technologies of coater/developer, wafer bonder for 3D packaging, and acceleration of time-to-market and reduction of manufacturing costs to meet the demanding technological needs of the fast growing semiconductor ecosystem.
Applications that require 3DIC packaging such as smart devices, medical devices, high performance computing, and Internet of Things will also be covered by the collaboration.
The industry partners involved in this international collaboration are: Applied Materials, Dai Nippon Printing, DISCO, KLA-Tencor, Mentor Graphics, Nikon, Panasonic Factory Solutions Asia Pacific, PINK, Tokyo Electron Ltd. and Tokyo Ohka Kogyo.
While expectations are for smart devices to sustain a compact form factor, consumers also expect powerful performance and low power consumption. The challenge for the semiconductor industry is to meet these needs by addressing system and integration scaling in the electronics market. The four joint labs in lithography, wafer level packaging (WLP), metrology, and assembly will provide an integrated platform for semiconductor R&D, starting with patterning, further development of 3D integrated circuits (IC), quality control, and finally, the assembly and high-volume manufacturing of chips.
S. Iswaran (centre), Minister, Prime Minister's Office, Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade & Industry and Joint Lab partners
The joint labs build upon the successful model of the IME-Applied Materials Centre of Excellence. Together, the four labs will enable the development of innovative semiconductor technologies and allow partners to undertake solutions-oriented semiconductor R&D and facilitate commercialisation that is earlier, faster, and cheaper. This international partnership also bears testament to the industry relevance of IME's deep research capabilities, and will encourage further development of solutions for global implementation.
Lim Chuan Poh, chair of A*STAR, said, "The launch of IME's Advanced Semiconductor Joint Labs today is an excellent example of public-private partnership under an open innovation framework. I am pleased that A*STAR IME has entered into this strategic partnership with many leading global industry players to capture new growth opportunities for Singapore and the region. The launch of the Advanced Semiconductor Joint Labs reaffirms A*STAR's deep capabilities and strong infrastructure in the R&D ecosystem to serve the growing needs of the semiconductor industry."
Professor Dim-Lee Kwong, Executive Director of IME said, "These joint labs further demonstrate our ability to build a global network of partnerships that stretch across the supply chain. These collaborations will encourage semiconductor R&D that is relevant for industry, and provide solutions for a rapidly evolving global electronics market. Through this integrated platform, our partners can leverage A*STAR IME's technologies and expertise to develop innovative technologies and products to address challenges in the semiconductor industry."