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European Semiconductor Metrology Technology Hub Launches

Applied Materials, Inc., a leader in materials engineering solutions, and the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems IPMS, Germany’s leading advanced 300mm semiconductor research center, has announced a landmark collaboration to create Europe´s largest technology hub for semiconductor metrology and process analysis.

To be located at the Center Nanoelectronic Technologies (CNT) of Fraunhofer IPMS in Dresden, the technology hub is situated in the heart of Silicon Saxony, Europe’s largest semiconductor cluster. The hub will be equipped with Applied Materials’ state-of-the-art eBeam metrology equipment, including its VeritySEM CD-SEM (critical dimension scanning electron microscope) systems, and staffed by Applied engineers and R&D experts.

The new hub will provide state-of-the-art metrology systems to accelerate semiconductor research and enhance development projects with chipmakers and ecosystem partners across Europe, particularly in ICAPS (Internet of things, Communications, Automotive, Power and Sensors) market segments. Collaboration will accelerate learning, develop novel methods and prove new metrology equipment, methods, algorithms and software.

“Fraunhofer IPMS and its partners will benefit from access to Applied’s industry-leading eBeam metrology systems”, said Dr. Benjamin Uhlig-Lilienthal, Head of Business Unit Next Generation Computing at Fraunhofer IPMS. “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.”

“Our collaborative metrology hub will accelerate learning cycles and the development of new applications for the Fraunhofer Institute, Applied Materials and our customers and partners in Europe,” said James Robson, Corporate Vice President for Applied Materials Europe. “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.”

Metrology is crucial in the production of microchips as it enables the accurate measurements needed to precisely monitor and control the quality of individual semiconductor manufacturing steps and sequences. Chipmakers use metrology equipment at critical points to help validate physical and electrical characteristics and maintain target yields.

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