Applied Materials, IME to invest $188m in centre

United States-based Applied Materials and the Institute of Microelectronics are extending their research collaboration by five years.
United States-based Applied Materials and the Institute of Microelectronics are extending their research collaboration by five years.PHOTO: REUTERS

United States-based Applied Materials and the Institute of Microelectronics (IME) are extending their research collaboration by five years.

Applied Materials and IME, a research body under the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star), expect to invest a combined $188 million more into their Centre of Excellence in Advanced Packaging here. The organisations will expand the scope of their research and development (R&D) to focus on advancing what is called Fan-Out Wafer-Level Packaging, a technology that is expected to help make chips and devices smaller, faster and more power-efficient.

The process can provide significant benefits for the mobile and wireless markets so increased investment in the sector could help propel Singapore's standing as a global hub for semiconductor R&D, the partners said in a statement yesterday.

The centre will expand to a second location at Fusionopolis 2, in addition to the existing facility at Science Park II. The two facilities combined will span an area of about 1,700 sq m and be staffed by a team of close to 100 researchers, scientists and engineers.

The first centre, which was built to develop new capabilities in advanced packaging, has delivered advancements in semiconductor hardware, process and device structures.

FURTHERING DEVELOPMENT OF NEW TECHNOLOGIES

Our collaboration with A*Star over the past five years has been instrumental in establishing Applied Materials' presence in Singapore and building up our R&D capabilities. The expansion will further Applied Materials' development of new technologies and products for global markets, while remaining a key contributor to Singapore's innovation economy.

MR RUSSELL THAM, regional president of Applied Materials South East Asia.

"Our collaboration with A*Star over the past five years has been instrumental in establishing Applied Materials' presence in Singapore and building up our R&D capabilities," said Mr Russell Tham, the regional president of Applied Materials South East Asia.

"The expansion will further Applied Materials' development of new technologies and products for global markets, while remaining a key contributor to Singapore's innovation economy."

Through its work at the centre, Applied Materials has developed technology that has been implemented in several of its semiconductor equipment products.

A*Star managing director Raj Thampuran said: "We remain committed to advancing innovations in the semiconductor industry and being at the forefront of leading edge ideas in this rapidly evolving technological landscape."

Yasmine Yahya

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 20, 2016, with the headline 'Applied Materials, IME to invest $188m in centre'. Print Edition | Subscribe