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Posted: February 16, 2009
Two chip consortia aim to accelerate green manufacturing progress for semiconductor industry
(Nanowerk News) Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), the world's leading
university-research consortium for semiconductors and related technologies,
and IMEC, Europe's leading independent nanoelectronics research center,
intend to set up an international collaboration aimed at creation of novel
processes and materials for advanced semiconductor manufacturing. The
memorandum of understanding (MOU) calls for the consortia to apply their
more than 50 years of combined expertise to finding more environmentally
friendly ways to make chips for use by the worldwide electronics industry.
This unprecedented effort will bring together the SRC leadership in
university research for sustainable high-performance materials and
processes with IMEC's expertise in advanced research of deep-submicron IC
process technologies and devices. The research will be conducted among
IMEC and the joint SRC/SEMATECH Center for Environmentally Benign
Semiconductor Manufacturing (CEBSM), a well-established resource known for
its expertise in addressing strategic ESH-related research challenges.
The cooperative work will aim at two objectives: creation of leading-edge
technologies that protect the environment, as well as more effective
processes for lowering the costs of chip manufacturing. The results should
benefit both the global population and the driver of the new technologies,
the semiconductor industry.
SRC, IMEC, and CEBSM intend to start the first phase of this joint
initiative with an emphasis in two areas. The first area focuses on
sustainable cleaning and surface preparation of new materials and
nano-structures. This research includes timely integration of new channel
and gate materials, such as Germanium (Ge) and III/V compounds, which are
precursors for deposition, etch chemicals and cleaning agents in future
device manufacturing. This research will establish options for minimizing
emissions and decreasing the usage of chemicals, water and energy during
processing. Additionally, this joint initiative will explore novel in-line
and real-time approaches for monitoring the efficacy of nano-structure
The second joint research project area aims to explore sustainable
high-performance material planarization processes. This research will
advance the design and feasibility of process options that eliminate the
release and discharge of nanoparticles in the manufacturing waste streams.
"Semiconductors have made enormous progress in speed, performance, and
miniaturization, which places greater demand on the environmental aspects
required to create these 'brains' of the electronics world through
ever-cleaner methods and materials," said Larry Sumney, president and CEO
of SRC. "Joining the considerable talents of SRC and IMEC with the CEBSM's
proven track record for high-impact ESH research demonstrates the
commitment of the chip industry to stewardship of the global environment."
"By joining forces with CEBSM's experts, we will be able to complement our
advanced semiconductor scaling research with ESH aspects already at a very
early stage of researching new processes and materials for the next
generation IC technologies;" said Gilbert Declerck, President and CEO of
IMEC. "Such collaboration will offer our partners an added value towards
future volume manufacturing."
Further details of the R&D plans covered by the MOU will be presented at
the annual meeting of the CEBSM, February 19-20, 2009 at the University of
Arizona in Tucson.