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INDUSTRY NEWS

IBM shops Fishkill campus

IBM has put its West campus in East Fishkill, NY, up for sale or lease. Part of the Hudson Valley Research Park, the 160-acre site features six main buildings, including a fully operational Class 1 200-mm fab (the largest structure in the offering), a cleanroom-equipped R&D facility, and various corporate and administrative offices. Bulk gases, DI water, industrial waste pretreatment, and other facility infrastructure elements are also part of the package. The campus acreage has several undeveloped tracts and may be subdivided into two smaller parcels for companies interested only in either the cleanroom-manufacturing portions or the office buildings.

Samsung picks Air Products

Air Products will supply bulk specialty gases to Samsung Austin Semiconductor's recently expanded DRAM fab. The materials company will provide bulk quantities of high-purity nitrogen trifluoride, silane, nitrous oxide, and hexafluoroethane, as well as the specialty UHP gas and chemical storage and distribution equipment. Air Products has been an on-site specialty materials provider at Samsung's Austin site since it opened in 1997, with a dedicated technical team operating a nitrogen generation plant, as well as supplying argon, oxygen, and other liquid bulk gases.

Honeywell opens rad-hard fab

Honeywell's new wafer foundry will produce the industry's first radiation-hardened 150-nm ASICs for use in advanced flight control and navigation, satellite data processing, and other military and aerospace systems. Fabricated with a silicon-on-insulator technology, the ICs are designed to withstand the extreme operating environments of space. The Plymouth, MN, facility and technology itself were funded by two U.S. Department of Defense units—the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and Defense Product Act Title III Program Office. The company says the manufacturing operation provides a production infrastructure that supports scalable-volume foundry services for commercial and strategic high-performance ICs and systems on a chip.

Cabot unveils target plant

A new $12 million thin-films manufacturing facility produces tantalum sputtering targets for deposition systems used in chipmaking, flat-panel displays, and related applications. Cabot Supermetals (a business unit of Cabot) employs 20 people at the 90,000-sq-ft plant, located in Etna, OH. The hands-free, "lights-out" factory combines robotic material handling, dynamic scheduling, and automated process control, and can produce a high volume of consistent targets on time and at a low cost, the company says. Other processes at the manufacturing site include metal joining, shaping, machining, and surface-finishing steps.

Ponté pursues DFY

E-Z-CAD has become Ponté Solutions, and the renamed company plans to deliver what it calls the industry's first full-chip, model-based design-for-yield (DFY) software package later this year. Targeted to bridge the "yield gap" between design and manufacturing and to reduce the cost and time-to-volume of ICs for fabless houses, foundries, and IDMs, the company's products have three core capabilities: a comprehensive unified yield-modeling platform based on statistical yield models, high-capacity data processing that can process billions of nanometer-scale structures overnight, and robust yield analysis that can handle custom and cell-based structures to ensure accurate full-chip analysis. Based in Mountain View, CA, the company has received about $10 million in Series A funding from private individuals and venture capital firms such as Telos, US Venture, and Incubic. An executive team composed of electronic design automation and semiconductor veterans is led by CEO Alex Alexanian; CTO Ara Markosian; Nitin Deo, senior vp of marketing, applications, and customer support; and Sedrak Sargisian, vp of engineering.

Silecs, Nagase partner

Nagase has agreed to manufacture and distribute Silecs's portfolio of IC dielectric materials in Japan. The Japanese company will initially focus on both the front- and back-end advanced chipmaking markets, as well as offerings for flat-panel display applications. Volume production of Silecs's products will take place at Nagase's high-purity electronic chemicals manufacturing plant in Himeji, Hyogo prefecture. "Nagase's strong manufacturing resources will add to our supply capabilities and will support our customers on a global basis as an additional source for our products," said Jaakko Kokko, CEO and cofounder of Silecs.

Chinese fab chooses Membrana

A major Chinese memory fab has chosen Membrana-Charlotte to provide membrane contactor systems for deaerating ultrapure water. Designed for removing dissolved oxygen down to <1 ppb, the contactors will operate in combo mode where a small nitrogen sweep and vacuum will be used. The supplier's Liqui-Cel system will be installed in two lines at the plant. The first line will degas 200 cubic meters per hour, while the second line will degas 140 cubic meters per hour. The system is scheduled to begin operations in 3Q2005.

Unaxis supplies KANC

The Korea Advanced Nano Fab Center (KANC) will take delivery of six Unaxis Versaline plasma etch tools for advanced compound semiconductor research. The platform can be equipped with ICP, RIE, PECVD, and PVD modules and can be used for LEDs, HEMTs, HBTs, optoelectronics, and MEMS applications. Paul Henry, vp of Unaxis's wafer processing sales and marketing, says the supplier will also collaborate with the center (located at the Korean Small Business Center in Suwon, Gyeonggi) to develop processes, equipment, and technologies.


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