July 02, 2013

Nanocollege partnership to create more high-tech jobs

By: Haley Viccaro

Source: The Business Review

The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering is expected to house 150 new high-tech jobs through a recently announced branch of the college's 450mm computer chip manufacturing site.

Ten high-tech facility companies are investing more than $5 million and creating jobs at the nanocollege’s Global 450 Consortium to form the Facility 450 Consortium, which will focus on facility design and development.

“One of the gaps we always saw was that the facility side tends to get pushed off toward the end,” said Allen Ware, program executive for the F450C. “We thought we could engage with the owners and tool vendors early on to come up with better ways to address some of the challenges they are going to have.”

The companies that will make up the new F450C are Air Liquide, CH2M HILL, CS Clean Systems, Ceres Technologies, Edwards, Haws Corp., Mega Fluid Systems, M+W Group, Ovivo and Swagelok.

The nanocollege’s G450C building, dubbed NanoFab Xtension, houses leading computer chip companies that have teamed up to develop the next generation of computer chips on 450mm silicon discs called wafers.

The current industry standard for silicon wafers is 300mm. The transition to 450mm will allow more computer chips to be etched on each wafer, ultimately reducing production costs.

The goal of the F450C is for member companies to collaborate and identify ways for 450mm facility construction to reduce installation times and costs. The work would go toward the building of future 450mm factories globally, Ware said.

“We know there is going to be challenges with power, gases and the base costs of 450 facilities compared to 300 facilities,” he said. “When NFX was designed it was based on the best estimates on weights, vibrations and power consumption.”

The NFX building will allow member companies to learn how much power and what new gases would be required for 450mm facilities, Ware said. As computer chip manufacturing tools are installed into the new site, M+W group is hooking up devices to measure the draw on power and exhaust.

The new consortium was announced following M+W Group’s selection to support the research and development of new infrastructure for next-generation computer chip facilities.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo officially announced the $4.8 billion G450C in September 2011. The consortium consists of a partnership between the nanocollege and Intel Corp., IBM, GlobalFoundries, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. and Samsung.

The Nanocollege and its corporate partners will highlight the progress made with the G450C and Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium at this year’s SEMICON West and Intersolar North America conferences.

College faculty and researchers will participate in presentations and workshops during SEMICON West to provide updates on their progress and advancements with the 450mm technology.

The nanocollege’s G450C is being developed as a magnet to draw high-tech companies to upstate New York with the benefit of locating close to next-generation computer chip technology and development.