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Applied Materials and Fraunhofer IPMS Forge Europe’s Premier Semiconductor Metrology Hub

by Anna

Applied Materials, Inc., a trailblazer in materials engineering solutions, has joined forces with Germany’s leading advanced 300mm semiconductor research center, Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems IPMS, to establish Europe’s most extensive technology hub dedicated to semiconductor metrology and process analysis.

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This collaborative endeavor will find its home at the Center Nanoelectronic Technologies (CNT) of Fraunhofer IPMS, strategically situated within Silicon Saxony, Europe’s largest semiconductor cluster.

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At the heart of the hub’s operations will be Applied Materials’ cutting-edge eBeam metrology equipment, including its advanced VeritySEM CD-SEM (critical dimension scanning electron microscope) systems. A team of Applied engineers and R&D experts will also be stationed at the hub.

Dr. Benjamin Uhlig-Lilienthal, Head of Business Unit Next Generation Computing at Fraunhofer IPMS, highlighted the benefits of this collaboration, stating, “Fraunhofer IPMS and its partners will benefit from access to Applied’s industry-leading eBeam metrology systems. The new technology hub will offer advanced wafer-level metrology in our industrial CMOS environment with Fraunhofer IPMS’s unique ability to loop wafers directly with semiconductor manufacturers.”

James Robson, Corporate Vice President for Applied Materials Europe, emphasized the significance of the collaborative metrology hub, noting, “This unique technology hub will have the capability to test and qualify processes on a variety of substrate materials and wafer thicknesses critical to applications across the diverse European semiconductor landscape.”

The role of metrology in microchip production cannot be overstated. It is instrumental in achieving the precision required for monitoring and controlling the quality of individual semiconductor manufacturing steps and sequences. Metrology equipment is strategically deployed by chipmakers to validate physical and electrical characteristics, ensuring target yields are met.

The technology hub’s strategic location within the burgeoning semiconductor cluster of Silicon Saxony and its deployment of cutting-edge metrology equipment positions it as a pivotal catalyst in advancing semiconductor research and innovation in Europe.

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