The SEMATECH - Sandia national laboratories partnership: A case study

  • Carayannis E
  • Gover J
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SEMATECH was established in 1987 for defense and economic reasons to help the US regain a competitive posture in semiconductor manufacturing. For 10 years SEMATECH was jointly funded by the federal government and semiconductor manufacturing companies representing 85 percent of the US semiconductor industry. SEMATECH has spent about 80 percent of these funds on activities intended to produce useful results between 1 and 3 years. Very early in the establishment of SEMATECH, its members determined that their first priority would be to strengthen their US based suppliers of semiconductor manufacturing equipment. This has been the primary thrust of SEMATECH. SEMATECH first held some 30 workshops on a broad set of technical topics to assess the needs and opportunities to help the industry recover. These workshops scoped manufacturing process development, lithography, front end processes (doping and thermal processes), back end processes (etch and film deposition), packaging, etc., to determine those manufacturing areas where SEMATECH should focus. These early meetings were an early form of what later came to be termed road-mapping. The scope of R&D needs identified in these workshops well exceeded what SEMATECH could hope to accomplish with its $200 million annual budget. Sandia participated in five of these workshops and used the knowledge gained as the basis for proposals he later submitted to SEMATECH on behalf of Sandia. In the fall of 1989 the SETEC program was established at Sandia to support SEMATECH. This was initially a funds-in, work-for-others project that was fully funded by SEMATECH. Thus, the early work was entirely focused on SEMATECH's needs. Later in the program when SEMATECH funds were supplemented by Department of Energy (DOE) Cooperative Research and Development (CRADA) funds, attention was given to how this project would benefit Sandia's defense microelectronics program. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Strategic partnerships
  • Technology road-mapping

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  • Elias G. Carayannis

  • James Gover

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