FEB. 18–RIO RANCHO, N.M.–Intel Corp. has donated $17.5 million worth of old six-inch process tools to the University of New Mexico’s (UNM) Manufacturing Training and Technology Center for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) research and development.
The 74 tools are coming from a fab here that Intel has decommissioned since its $2 billion Fab 11X, a 300-mm fab in Rio Rancho, came online last November. Fab 11X joins Fab 11, Intel’s 200mm fab, on the same site.
Intel made the donation through Next Generation Economy Inc. (NextGen). NextGen is an Albuquerque-based economic development group that works with both public and private partners by setting up regional, economic and industry clusters. NextGen is in the process of establishing a MEMS cluster in the southwest, and will oversee the distribution of the fab equipment among its requisite partners.
“Assets that no longer are economical for high-output wafer-manufacturing facilities at our Rio Rancho site are state of the art for MEMS and will provide enormous opportunity for the microelectronics cluster efforts for a long time into the future,” says Bruce Leising, Intel’s vice president of technology and manufacturing.
NextGen will install an initial set of donated equipment in the semiconductor cleanroom at UNM’s Manufacturing Training and Technology Center (MTTC).
“The equipment strengthens the region’s ability to train engineers and technicians as team members, strengthens NextGen’s ability to compete for funds in emerging technology areas, and strengthens the microsystem cluster’s ability to provide resources for small startups that in turn will catalyze regional economic development,” adds John Wood, director of MTTC.
“We appreciate very much Intel’s foresight and generosity in donating this equipment to NextGen, and NextGen’s willingness to work to install some of the tool set in UNM’s MTTC clean room,” Joe Cecchi, dean of the UNM School of Engineering, said in a statement. “Not only would this greatly enhance our educational and research programs in MEMS, but it would also allow us to collaborate more extensively with MEMS companies and further increase our economic development activities.”