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New lab positions Singapore as a global leader in semiconductor R&D

Zafar Anjum | March 8, 2012
Applied Materials and A*STAR’s Institute of Microelectronics open dedicated lab to drive advanced 3D chip packaging.

R&D Lab

From left: Professor Dim-Lee Kwong, Executive Director, IME; Mr Leo Yip, Chairman, EDB; Dr. Randhir Thakur, Executive Vice-President and General Manager, Silicon Systems Group, Applied Materials; Mr Lim Hng Kiang,
Minister for Trade and Industry; Mr Michael Splinter, Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer, Applied Materials; Mr Lim Chuan Poh, Chairman, A*STAR

3D chip packaging is expected to be a major inflection point for the semiconductor industry, allowing smaller packages, lower power consumption and higher data bandwidth.

To cater to the demands of such a rising sector, a new joint R&D centre is being established in Singapore, called the Centre of Excellence in Advanced Packaging at Singapore's Science Park II.

This is a dedicated facility focused on developing next-generation packaging technologies to feed the explosive growth of mobile devices.

Behind this centre are two entities-Applied Materials, which is the global leader in providing manufacturing solutions for the semiconductor, flat panel display and solar photovoltaic industries, and the Institute of Microelectronics (IME), a world-renowned research institute under the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).

Singapore's Minister for Trade and Industry, Lim Hng Kiang, presided at the centre's opening ceremony on Wednesday (7 March).

"Today, we are not only opening the most advanced wafer level packaging lab of its kind in the world, but we are also opening a new product development capability for Applied Materials in Asia," said Mike Splinter, chairman and chief executive officer of Applied Materials. "This Centre will strengthen our ability to advance new technologies and allow us to work more closely with our customers in Asia."

On the collaboration with Applied Materials, Lim Chuan Poh, chairman of A*STAR, said: "This will create many high-value jobs locally and help to further anchor Singapore's semiconductor manufacturing base."

The most advanced lab of its kind

The Centre of Excellence in Advanced Packaging has been built with a combined investment of over US$100 million from Applied Materials and IME.

According to official sources, the world-class facility features a 14,000 sq ft Class-10 cleanroom and is equipped with a fully-integrated line of 300 mm manufacturing systems to support the research and development of 3D chip packaging, a critical growth area for the semiconductor industry.

The Centre will be the most advanced lab of its kind dedicated to wafer level packaging and will combine Applied Materials' leading-edge equipment and process technology with IME's leading research capability in 3D chip packaging.

The Centre positions Singapore as a global leader in semiconductor R&D and is expected to help accelerate the development and adoption of 3D packaging technology globally, the two organisations said in a statement.


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