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INDUSTRY NEWS

Sematech offers sourcing info

An exclusive online database will provide Sematech and ISMI members with worldwide information on equipment availability, repair services, consumables, spares, and other manufacturing supply chain–related details. "The Competitive Sourcing Database," initiated by Sematech's Supplier Relations Action Council spares and service committee, contains information on the products and capabilities of hundreds of voluntarily registered suppliers. Available data include supplier types, locations, repair and refurbishing availability, R&D capabilities, and factory modules. John Schmitz, the consortium's vice president and COO for manufacturing technologies, says the database will benefit members by offering advantages such as more-cost-effective procurement and management of spares; prescreened, capable, and competitive sources for spares; lower costs for equipment maintenance; and increased return on investment for member companies. Suppliers can register for the database at http://ismi.sematech.org/forms/scr.htm.

Cymer, Zeiss form FPD team

Cymer and Carl Zeiss SMT have created Team Cymer Zeiss (TCZ), a joint venture they say will offer innovative production equipment for the emerging flat-panel-display market. The partners will combine their laser, optics, and motion control expertise to develop a cost-effective thin-beam crystallization tool—the TCZ-900X—to improve low-temperature polysilicon (LTPS) processes for thin-film-transistor displays. TCZ's operational headquarters will be located at the Cymer facilities in San Diego; the effort will be led by the light-source company's former executive vp of emerging technologies and applications, Brian Klene. He will report to the joint venture's board, made up of executives from both companies. Cymer owns 60% of TCZ, with Carl Zeiss SMT holding 40%.

"We identified an opportunity to enable display makers to realize the technical benefits of polysilicon by combining the strengths of our technology, customer service, and support infrastructure to provide a reliable, high-yield, high-performance process solution," explains Klene. "Our solution means that LTPS is no longer too expensive for FPD manufacturers to utilize, and consumers will ultimately reap the benefits of brighter, higher-resolution displays."

K-T funds start-ups

KT Venture Group has helped fund two start-up companies in the design for manufacturing (DFM) space. The investment partner of KLA-Tencor participated in the second-round venture financing (led by Intel Capital) for Clear Shape Technologies in early June and also announced in mid-July that it will invest in Aprio Technologies. Both Silicon Valley–based start-ups were founded in 2003 and feature software and technologies that will bridge the gap between the design and manufacturing disciplines, accelerate time from design to actual production and time to market, and enhance yields.

Partners launch nano roadmap

Funded by an initial grant of $250,000 from the Waitt Family Foundation, Foresight Nanotech Institute and Battelle have begun the work to establish a "Technology Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems." The group is putting together a steering committee to guide the project and has already garnered the support of SEMI, SME, NanoBusiness Alliance, Electric Power Research Institute, and other industry organizations. The group says the roadmap will provide a common framework for understanding the pathways for developing productive nanosystems, the challenges that must be overcome in their development, and the applications that they can address. The document will also serve as a basis for formulating research and commercialization agendas for achieving those capabilities. The roadmap process will include a series of workshops and the coordination of the contributions of experts from various parts of the public and private sectors. The first workshop is slated to take place in late summer 2005, with completion of the roadmap scheduled for late 2006.

IEST joins ISO nano efforts

The Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology has joined the international efforts to standardize nanotechnology disciplines. The organization has become a voting member of the American National Standards Institute–accredited U.S. technical advisory group to ISO's nanotech-focused Technical Committee 229. ISO/TC 229 will produce standards for classification, terminology and nomenclature, basic metrology, calibration and certification, and environmental issues. Test methods will focus on physical, chemical, structural, and biological properties of materials or devices whose performance is critically dependent on one or more dimensions <100 nm. The U.S. advisory group held its inaugural meeting in Gaithersburg, MD, in mid-July.

Kundert to lead SEMI Europe

Industry veteran Heinz Kundert will take over the reins of SEMI's Europe regional division from outgoing president Walter Roessger. Kundert—who previously served as CEO of Unaxis and president of Balzers, among other corporate positions—will begin his duties on October 3; Roessger will serve in an advisory capacity until the end of January 2006, then retire from SEMI. Kundert will be in charge of the association's offices in Brussels and Moscow and will oversee SEMI's programs, products, and services throughout Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States.


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