2020-10-28 21:25

STMicroelectronics, A*Star unit and Japan's Ulvac in Singapore R&D tie-up QdT世界播



SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - European chipmaker STMicroelectronics will open a cutting-edge research and development (R&D) line at its manufacturing facility in Singapore, in a three-way public-private tie-up announced on Wednesday (Oct 28). QdT世界播


The 1,300 square metre cleanroom, which will focus on piezoelectric micro-electromechanical system (piezo Mems) technology, is expected to produce its first wafers in the second quarter of 2021, and scale up to higher-volume production by end-2022. STMicro also indicated that it is ready to double the size of the cleanroom if needed. QdT世界播

这个占地1300平方米的洁净室将专注于压电微机电系统(Piezo MEMS)技术,预计将在2021年第二季度生产第一批晶圆,并在2022年底扩大到更大规模的生产。意法半导体还表示,如果需要,它准备将洁净室的规模扩大一倍。QdT世界播

The planned facility is a collaboration with the Institute of Microelectronics (IME) at Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) and Japanese tool vendor Ulvac. QdT世界播


Mems are tiny integrated systems used in devices such as sensors and printer heads, and piezo Mems rely on an electric charge generated when stress is applied to materials. QdT世界播


The output from the R&D facility is expected to cut across various market segments, such as smart glasses, healthcare apparatus and 3D printing. QdT世界播


While he would not put a dollar amount to the investment, Benedetto Vigna, president of STMicro's analog, Mems and sensors group, said that the value of the initiative "is really very high" on the back of factors such as Singapore's strategic location and the potential of piezo Mems technology. QdT世界播

尽管他不愿透露这笔投资的金额,但意法半导体模拟、MEMS和传感器集团总裁贝尼代托·维尼亚(BeneDetto Vigna)表示,考虑到新加坡的战略位置和压电MEMS技术的潜力等因素,该倡议的价值“真的非常高”。QdT世界播

The latest move comes just over a year after STMicro unveiled an enhanced wafer fabrication facility at its Ang Mo Kio "techno-park" premises, which took the capacity of the group's Singapore operations to 27,500 eight-inch and 84,000 six-inch wafers a week. QdT世界播

就在一年多前,意法半导体在其昂莫桥(Ang Mo Kio)“技术园区”推出了一家增强型晶圆制造厂,使该集团新加坡业务的产能达到每周2.75万块8英寸和8.4万块6英寸晶圆。QdT世界播

Last September's expansion also took the Singapore workforce size to about 4,900 staff members, but Mr Vigna added that the new facility will feature "several tens" of new and redeployed Mems R&D personnel - including process scientists, engineers and designers. QdT世界播


"We will develop products for different markets, we will develop products for personal electronics, for automotive, for industrial; and then, depending on the success of these products, we will staff properly with the operators," he added. QdT世界播


Speaking to The Business Times ahead of the launch, Mr Vigna said that the upcoming "lab in fab" is meant to bridge the gap between prototyping and high-volume production, which he described as "one of the traditional difficulties of Mems". QdT世界播


While the company had previously co-located Mems R&D and manufacturing in Italy, he said the Singapore site is novel for its collaborative approach. QdT世界播


On top of STMicro's background in high-volume production, Ulvac will help to develop new technological processes and more affordable Mems tools, while the IME will work on the design and technology development for materials and products, Mr Vigna noted. QdT世界播


IME executive director Kwong Dim Lee said in a statement that the project "will continue to anchor high-value R&D activities in Singapore" and demonstrates the Republic's continued attractiveness as a place for industry players to innovate and grow. QdT世界播

IME执行董事邝迪姆·李(Kwong Dim Lee)在一份声明中表示,该项目“将继续支撑新加坡的高价值研发活动”,并展示了新加坡作为行业参与者创新和增长之地的持续吸引力。QdT世界播

"A*Star is also committed to helping local (small and medium-sized enterprises) tap into our technologies. We welcome companies to collaborate with IME and leverage our lab-in-fab facilities for proof of concept," Dr Kwong added. QdT世界播


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