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Applied Materials set to extend Indian academic links

Posted: 06 Oct 2005     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:applied materials  India  materials research  nanoelectronics  semiconductor 

Applied Materials said it is planning to work with Indian universities on advanced materials research, device characterization and reliability and nanoelectronics as a means of preparing the sub-continent for a role in semiconductor manufacturing.

Beginning with top-tier institutes, such as the Indian Institutes of Technology at Mumbai and New Delhi and the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Applied Materials Inc. (Santa Clara, Calif.) plans to expand funded and collaborative research programs into other institutes, according to Mark Pinto, chief technology officer and senior vice president of the new business and new products group.

"We have had individual relationships with institutes but we are starting a much broader program now," Pinto said. Applied Materials is involved with IIT, Delhi where a pilot project for IC manufacturing is underway. The company will soon start a graduate fellowship program in semiconductor processing technologies where it will award 10 fellowships and start a research program in semiconductor processing and electro-mechanical engineering.

"There is a lot of fundamental work going on in materials we have never dealt with, their properties and in optimizing their composition. Universities [here] have much understanding of the synthesis of materials and this is of direct interest in semiconductor manufacturing," Pinto added.

When asked about supplying semiconductor manufacturing equipment to India, Keshav Prasad, Applied's general manager of global development capability, said the company had been involved in "interactions" on a proposed fabrication facility to make memory chips at Kochi in Kerala and on a Hyderabad facility. "We cannot say more on this," Prasad added.

However, a company note said: "India is expected in the near future to be a strong consumer of semiconductor chip-related products and a center for semiconductor chip manufacturing. Applied Materials is building the necessary infrastructure for supporting fabs."

Of the 800 staff the company has in its two centers in India at Bangalore and Pune, about 35 percent are into software development, followed by 30 percent of them in engineering design and engineering services while the rest are involved in business and information technology applications. Speeding up new product development is among the responsibilities of the centers here, said Narendra Dubey, director, Applied Materials India.

Through its academic program the company intends to drive Indian university curricula oriented toward supporting the semiconductor industry. "In the U.S. we helped drive systems engineering studies, which was otherwise not there. We will do similar programs in India too so that the Indian semiconductor industry can benefit," said Nety Krishna, technology officer for Applied's new business and new products group.

- K.C. Krishnadas

EE Times

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