SEMATECH, SUNY seal EUV lithography program deal

JAN. 29–ALBANY, N.Y.–The University at Albany (UAlbany) and International SEMATECH (ISMT), the global consortium of semiconductor manufacturers, have completed negotiations on a joint five-year program to accelerate the development of next generation lithography.

Under the terms of the contract, ISMT will conduct a program in extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography infrastructure, focused on advanced work in three areas — mask blanks, resist and EUV extensions — at UAlbany’s new state-of-the-art 300 mm wafer cleanroom complex. The program is designated as International SEMATECH North.

“This is a great day for our members and for the semiconductor industry,” says Bob Helms, ISMT president and chief executive officer. “By combining talent and resources and maximizing the leverage of industry, university and state funds, International SEMATECH and UAlbany are tackling a major technical challenge facing the industry — the development of a new infrastructure to support EUV lithography. And we’re funded for success, thanks to the commitments provided by Governor Pataki and the State of New York.”

UAlbany has been extremely successful in garnering R&D funding through various national, industry and state initiatives to establish research and development programs. With the construction of two new 300 mm cleanroom facilities, UAlbany has become is the centerpiece of Governor George E. Pataki’s $1 billion initiative to bring high-tech consortia, companies and jobs to New York.

“We are delighted with the Governor’s announcement of the agreement to establish International SEMATECH North at the University at Albany,” says Karen R. Hitchcock, UAlbany’s president. “It is a great testimony to the unique and enabling array of research, development and prototyping capabilities of the University’s Center for Excellence in Nanoelectronics.

“We are extremely grateful to the state and International SEMATECH for their unprecedented investment in our high-technology programs.”

According to Kevin Kemp, EUV program manager for ISMT, the EUV infrastructure program to be conducted at UAlbany will complement and expand on the work being done at ISMT’s headquarters in Austin, Texas.

“During the recent International Symposium on Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography, hosted by ISMT, participants identified 10 critical EUV issues facing the industry over the next year,” said Kemp. “ISMT will be addressing those issues to help our members and the industry bring EUV lithography to commercialization. Our goal is to have the needed EUV infrastructure in place and ready for introduction in 2007.”

In addition to EUV, ISMT also conducts programs in 157 nm lithography, mask cost and availability, high-k/gate stack, low-k dielectrics and manufacturing effectiveness.

The UAlbany/ISMT agreement stipulates that ISMT will provide technical program definition, execution, management and staffing, while UAlbany will provide facilities, staffing and funding leverage. Both entities will share in the executive management of the program and the procurement of equipment, materials and contract R&D as defined by the ISMT management team.

Initially, ISMT will send a small project team of about 10 people to Albany to oversee the start-up; ultimately, the program is projected to include 30 ISMT employees and assignees, and involve over 500 UAlbany and other university faculty and staff, national laboratory and industry scientists and researchers, and material and equipment supplier engineers and technicians.

“We’re ready to launch this program,” says Kemp. “Our first tools will arrive in February, and our staff is set to hit the ground running.”

“And we’re ready to receive the ISMT team and launch a long and fruitful partnership that will generate an excellent return on our mutual investment,” says Alain E. Kaloyeros, executive director of Albany NanoTech of the University at Albany.


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