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Collaboration focuses on IC process tech R&D

Posted: 14 Jul 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IP-protected solutions? volume manufacturing? semiconductor process?

Globalfoundries Inc. has signed a multiyear collaborative development program and IP licensing agreement with Intermolecular Inc. The two companies will work research and development efforts on semiconductor process technology.

This is the first publicly disclosed partnership of Intermolecular with a logic devices company. The startup also has similar collaborations with two undisclosed non-volatile memory companies and DRAM maker Elpida Memory Inc. Intermolecular also has licensing agreements with other semiconductor and related technology firms.

Under the terms of the agreement, GlobalFoundries will leverage Intermolecular's high productivity combinatorial (HPC) technology to accelerate the creation of process modules. These modules will be integrated into manufacturing lines of GlobalFoundries worldwide.

According to David Lazovsky, Intermolecular's HPC technology dramatically increases the quantity and quality of material and physical characterization, unit-process development and device integration data. The HPC approach uses advanced combinatorial processing systems that allow dozens or even hundreds of experiments to be conducted in parallel, while Informatics software and analytical methods scan results for the most promising materials and unit process candidates, Lazovsky added.

Globalfoundries have a sizeable and distinguished R&D team of its own, but the company is also a member of IBM's Common Platform Alliance and other consortiums that share R&D. Lazovsky noted that partnering with Intermolecular offers Globalfoundries speed of development time in terms of R&D.

Just like other agreements Intermolecular has with other companies, the startup will receive development fees from GlobalFoundries, as well as royalties associated with any resulting technologies that will be developed.

Much of the collaborative development work will be performed at Intermolecular's HPC R&D Center in San Jose, California, in collaboration with Globalfoundries operations in Germany, New York, California and Singapore. Researchers and engineers from both companies will work side by side, utilizing Intermolecular's full suite of Tempus wet-workflow development systems and Tempus AP-30 platforms, which can perform ALD, CVD and PVD deposition processes.

"This new collaboration with Intermolecular will bolster our R&D pipeline and be an important enhancement to our ability to rapidly address integration challenges and transfer IP-protected solutions into high-volume manufacturing," said Gregg Bartlett, senior vice president of technology and R&D, GlobalFoundries.

- Dylan McGrath
??EE Times

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