Alliance aims to accelerate semiconductor growth

International SEMATECH and the University at Albany have announced plans for a joint five-year $320million program to accelerate the development of next generation lithography.

International SEMATECH (ISMT) and the University at Albany, New York, (UAlbany) have announced plans for a joint five-year $320 million program to accelerate the development of next generation lithography.

ISMT and UAlbany have signed a letter of intent to begin negotiations on the formation of a strategic alliance, to be known as International SEMATECH North (ISMTN), to conduct research and development in the area of advanced lithography infrastructure for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography.

As currently envisioned, the alliance will initiate a program in EUV infrastructure, to be managed by International SEMATECH and housed in UAlbany’s 300mm wafer cleanroom complex.

Contract negotiations will begin immediately, and both parties hope to have a final agreement on the strategic alliance by the end of the third quarter of this year.

Under the agreement, ISMT will provide technical program definition, execution, management and staffing. UAlbany will provide facilities and funding leverage, and both entities will share in the executive management of the program and the procurement of equipment and materials as defined by the ISMT management team.

Bob Helms, ISMT president and CEO, noted that the technical challenges faced by the semiconductor industry are too great for any single organisation, nation, or region to solve alone. He added that the consortium has engaged in a series of collaborative partnerships around the world to share the risks and rewards of technology research and development.

The University at Albany is said to have a solid track record of growth and industry support over the past decade. With the construction of two new 300mm cleanroom facilities, one to be completed by the end of 2002 and the other by the end of 2003, UAlbany is the centrepiece of an ambitious $1billion initiative to bring high-tech companies and jobs to New York.