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By Mary Fiess
CESTM and planned expansions

Computer Chip Industry to Creat International R&D Center at UAlbany


Above: UAlbany's Center for Environmental Sciences and Technology Management (CESTM), far right, with architectural image, left, of planned expansion, now under construction, which will house International SEMATECH North.

Right: Business and governmental leaders and University faculty and staff filled the CESTM atrium on July 18
for Gov. George Pataki's announcement.

CESTM atrium on July 18 for George Pataki's announcement.

"The future, the 21st Century, is being developed in upstate New York, and the centerpiece is going to be right here at our Center of Excellence in Nanoelectronics." – Gov. George PatakiThe University at Albany is about to play an even bigger role in New York State’s high-tech future.

International SEMATECH, a consortium of the 12 major computer-chip manufacturers in the world, is establishing a new research and development center at the University’s Center of Excellence in Nanoelectronics to help develop emerging semiconductor technologies for the chips of the future.
Gov. George Pataki announced the decision by SEMATECH on July 18, capping months of negotiations during which a very small group that consisted of key staff from his administration and UAlbany successfully made the case for New York State and the University.

“Forty-nine other states and nations from around the globe would be thrilled to have secured this facility, but it’s coming right here to New York, where it will transform the upstate economy and bring thousands of new high-paying jobs to the Capital District,” said Pataki.

Gov. George Pataki, UAlbany President Karen R. Hitchcock and Alain Kaloyeros, director of the Center of Excellence in Nanoelectronics.

Gov. George Pataki displays the special license plate
presented to him, in appreciation, by UAlbany President Karen R. Hitchcock and Alain Kaloyeros, director of the Center of Excellence in Nanoelectronics.

“This is one of the most exciting days, I believe, ever in the history of upstate New York, because the announcement means almost literally that the future, the 21st Century, is being developed in upstate New York, and the centerpiece is going to be right here at our Center of Excellence in Nanoelectronics,” said Pataki. The governor made the announcement at the University's Center for Environmental Sciences and Technology Management (CESTM) facility, which is the current home of the Center of Excellence.

The agreement between New York State and International SEMATECH includes approximately $400 million in state and industry support for the new center over the next five years. The support consists of $210 million in state funds (including $50 million previously announced for the Center of Excellence at Albany and included in the 2002-03 state budget) and $193 million from International SEMATECH and its member companies, including IBM.

This fall, SEMATECH will begin moving up to 250 scientists and technicians into the soon-to-be-finished 118,000-square-foot “technology accelerator” facility rising near CESTM. But those 250 jobs are only the initial impact of the center’s arrival; it is expected to serve as a catalyst for private-sector growth for years to come, just as the first SEMATECH center in Austin, Texas, spurred that area's economy.

UAlbany President Karen R. Hitchcock, Alain Kaloyeros and C. Robert Helms

From left: UAlbany President Karen R. Hitchcock, Alain Kaloyeros and C. Robert Helms, president and chief executive officer of International SEMATECH.

“SEMATECH transformed an entire region of the state of Texas,” said Pataki. “The Austin region’s population has more than doubled since 1990, from about 600,000 to more than 1.2 million. A capital city that was known as being the capital and having a state university, but not much else, was changed to having the capital, the state university and the leading giants in computer technology from around the globe – more than 450 software companies, more than 200 semiconductor companies, over 120 semiconductor manufacturing companies that among them employ more than 43,000 people. It truly transformed what had been a very rural state capital into one of the leading technology components of the entire globe in the 1990s.”

A little over a year earlier, Pataki had come to the very same place on campus to announce the creation of the Center of Excellence in Nanoelectronics, with $100 million in support from IBM and $50 million in state support. This time, Pataki likened that center – and the other Centers of Excellence his administration has created across the state – to the seedlings sown by his father in their apple orchard that bore fruit years later.

"The new partnership – International SEMATECH, the state of New York, and the University at Albany – is exactly what we need to get new technologies across the finish line." – C. Robert Helms. president and cheif executive officer of Inetrnational SEMATECHThe $150 million in support for the Center of Excellence in Nanoelectronics is allowing UAlbany to build the first university-based, 300-millimeter computer wafer prototyping and workforce training facility in the world. IBM’s donation consists of $25 million in cash and state-of the-art equipment valued at $75 million to create the pilot-development line for producing and testing computer chips made on the 300-millimeter, or 12-inch wafer platform.

International SEMATECH North

The goal of International SEMATECH North will be to accelerate the development of next-generation lithography for the computer chips of the future.

Semiconductor manufacturers have traditionally used optical lithography to etch patterns on computer chips, but new methods are needed to put ever-smaller and more-intricate patterns on chips to improve their speed and power.

International SEMATECH North will focus on the development of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography and the infrastructure – i.e., the equipment and processes – needed to incorporate it into future manufacturing processes.

International SEMATECH was established in 1987 to increase the U.S. worldwide market share of the chip industry. It has since expanded its mission to be the lead R &D organization for worldwide semiconductor manufacturers. Its goal is to improve semiconductor manufacturing technologies for computer efficiency, consumer products and military-weapon systems. International SEMATECH’s facility in Austin, Texas, employs 600 researchers focused on 200-millimeter computer chip technology.

The International SEMATECH research and development consortium includes: U.S firms, IBM, Intel, Motorola, Hewlett-Packard, Texas Instruments, Advanced Micro Devices, Agere Systems (Lucent); European firms, Philips (Netherlands), Infineon Technologies (Germany), and STMicroelectronics (France); and Asian firms, Hynix (Korea), TSMC (Taiwan).

SEMATECH is an acronym for Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology.

UAlbany already boasts the only pilot prototyping facility at any university in the world for the current standard in computer chip design, the 200-millimeter, or 8-inch wafer. More than 100 U.S. and worldwide corporate partners either use the facilities or work with University scientists on projects in this area. But the semiconductor industry is moving to the 12-inch wafer platform for the next generation of computer chips, and the University’s state-of-the-art, 300-millimeter facility will provide the ideal environment for testing the processes and technology used to manufacture the bigger wafers.

The one-of-kind facilities that will be the distinctive physical core of the Center of Excellence in Nanoelectronics will now also provide the critical infrastructure for the work of International SEMATECH North.

“This is the culmination of support from many University partners over the long run,” said University President Karen R. Hitchcock. “We are extremely grateful to our state leaders and International SEMATECH for their unprecedented investment in our high-technology programs.”

“The technical challenges that face the semiconductor industry are daunting and growing in complexity, and are too great for any single organization, nation, or region to solve alone,” said C. Robert Helms, president and chief executive officer of International SEMATECH.

A Place for Spin-off Companies

The W. Averell Harriman State Office Campus, immediately east of UAlbany's main campus, may eventually house some of the business activity spurred by International SEMATECH North.

Gov. George Pataki announced in April that the University will play a key role in the creation of a vibrant research and development technology park on the 350-acre Harriman Campus. The University is working in partnership with the New York State Office of General Services and the Empire State Development Corporation.

Initial plans call for the Harriman Campus to be gradually transformed into a haven for companies as the state offices now there are relocated over the next two decades.

Partnerships are the key to “solving the technology challenges of the future and keeping us on the road to growth,” he said. “This new partnership – International SEMATECH, the state of New York, and the University at Albany – is exactly what we need to get new technologies across the finish line.”

Both Pakati and Helms singled out Alain Kaloyeros, director of the Center of Excellence in Nanoelectronics and founding dean of the University’s new School of NanoSciences and Nano-Engineering, for the critical role he played.

“Professor Kaloyeros and his team are the glue that has brought us together to make this into a reality,” said Helms.

Aerial view shows the existing CESTM facility and the rising "technology accelerator" building, into which International SEMATECH North scientists will begin moving later this year. Between (and linking) the two buildings will be the first university-based 300-millimeter computer wafer prototyping and workforce training facility in the world. Construction of that 228,000 square-foot facility is expected to begin this fall.
 

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