May 11, 2007

Sematech Agrees To $600M Expansion Plan

By: by John Jordan,


ALBANY-Sematech, a consortium of nanoelectronics manufacturers based in Austin, TX, is locating its International Sematech headquarters at the Center of Excellence in Nanoelectronics and Nanotechnology at the University of Albany. The project is worth $600 million in public and private investment. Gov. Eliot Spitzer, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno announced the agreement on Wednesday.

State officials say the seven-year agreement calls for International Sematech to locate its headquarters in Albany, increase its work force by 450 jobs over three years, and provide $25 million to fund research at colleges and universities at five centers around the state.

Sptizer, Silver and Bruno report that they will push for the passage of a soon-to-be introduced bill that would provide $300 million in state funding to Sematech to facilitate the expansion. The funding will be made available over five years to help the firm purchase advanced semiconductor process equipment. In turn, Sematech has made a financial commitment of $300 million in cash and in-kind contributions in connection with the expansion effort. The project will support new research at the Nanotech Center in Albany and serve as an additional resource supporting existing operations of Sematech members in the Hudson Valley and the Capital Region, state officials say.

To allay any confusion regarding its operations in Austin, Sematech later issued a statement that while it is significantly expanding its presence in New York, the company's corporate offices and operations in Texas, including its advanced materials programs and some subsidiaries, will remain in Austin.

State officials and Sematech did not divulge specifics on the project's size and scope.

Alain Kaloyeros, College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering vice president and chief administrative officer, says the Albany NanoTech complex at the University at Albany is currently a $3.5 billion, 450,000-sf complex. The University at Albany NanoCollege houses the only fully integrated, 300mm wafer, computer chip pilot prototyping and demonstration line within 65,000 sf of class 1 capable cleanrooms. Over 1,600 scientists, researchers, engineers, students, faculty and others work on site at CNSE's Albany NanoTech complex, he says.

An expansion currently under way will increase the size of CNSE's Albany NanoTech complex to more than 750,000 sf, including more than 80,000 sf of class 1 cleanroom space, that will house more 2,000 scientists, researchers, engineers, students and faculty by the end of 2008.

Spitzer says of the agreement in principle with Sematech, "This decision by Sematech is an affirmation of the University at Albany NanoCollege's status as the most advanced research complex of its kind at any university in the world. It also represents a strong statement of how committed New York is to positioning itself as a leader in the innovation economy by providing both the facilities for state-of-the-art research and education of the tech savvy workforce, and the assistance to translate nanoelectronics innovations into commercial products."

International Sematech president and CEO Michael Polcari states, "As a world leader in setting direction, enabling flexible collaboration, and bridging strategic R&D to manufacturing for the nanoelectronics industry, we believe that the establishment of our International Sematech headquarters and operations in New York significantly strengthens our competitiveness and ability to provide our member companies with production-worthy technological innovations that meet the requirements of their technical and business roadmaps."