San Jose State University -- September 24, 2003

SJSU Opens Semiconductor Facility From Lab to Fab: Enabling the Workforce of the Future

San José State University's College of Engineering will open a newly updated 3,400 square-foot Microelectronics Process Engineering Fabrication Facility on Thursday, Sept. 25, with a ceremony, beginning at 11:30 a.m., in the Engineering Building, rooms 285/287. The MPE fab and accompanying academic program were developed with $1.5 million and in-kind donations from corporate sponsors, led by Intel Corp. and Applied Materials, Inc., as well as grants from the National Science Foundation and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.

SJSU's nationally recognized hands-on semiconductor design, manufacturing and fabrication program provides students with real-world experience in the design and manufacture of integrated circuits. Using CMOS technology, students work on actual process tools for photolithography, reactive ion etch, diffusion, oxidation, metal deposition, testing and metrology. Processes not available in the facility are outsourced to local suppliers providing additional business experience.

"Students in semiconductor-related fields need to have solid knowledge in every aspect of a chip's product cycle -- from design to manufacturing," said Belle Wei, dean of the College of Engineering. "The MPE fab will expose our students to semiconductor manufacturing experience that previously was only available in industry. Collaboration with the local companies that benefit from the well trained students we produce has helped to create a strong curriculum that ensures we remain a leading provider of engineering talent to Silicon Valley," she said.

The renovation allows the former laboratory to operate more like a real-world chip fab, with students designing circuits and devices in one course, while others manufacture the products in another. It is the only undergraduate learning program of its kind in the Western United States, according to Wei.

"Having a teaching facility like this on the West Coast is important for keeping Silicon Valley's competitive edge," said Jai Hahku, vice president, Intel Corp. "Our industry benefits when we have quality students coming out of this program right here in our backyard; new engineers skilled in semiconductor technology are capable of creating the innovative products to power the future."

"We must continue to attract the finest minds to technology and our industry, and we see our diverse workforce mirrored in the students attracted to this program from around the world," said Applied Materials Executive Vice President David Wang. "Having such a great training resource and source of future workers right here in Silicon Valley, the center of chip innovation, is incredibly valuable. We have already been a benefactor of past programs, hiring interns and employees with the hands on skills we need."

The mission of the Microelectronics Process Engineering program and fab is to provide opportunities for a significant number of engineering students to get hands-on education in both design and manufacturing. The newly remodeled facility has room for large classes to work simultaneously in the lab. In addition, the ability to bring in first- or second-year students gives them an introduction to microelectronics industries and helps get students excited about opportunities in the semiconductor industry. Exposing more students to semiconductor technology increases the depth of talent available to industry down the road. The program offers one of the only undergraduate degrees available in microelectronics processing, according to Wei.

About Intel: Intel, the world's largest chip maker, is also a leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products. Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com/pressroom.

About Applied Materials: Applied Materials (Nasdaq: AMAT) is a leader of the Information Age and the world's largest supplier of products and services to the global semiconductor industry. The company's Web site can be found at www.appliedmaterials.com.

About SJSU: San José State University's location in the Silicon Valley makes it an exceptionally rewarding learning environment for students. Silicon Valley firms and agencies seek SJSU students for internships, summer work programs and for assistance with research and development projects. Silicon Valley firms employ more graduates from SJSU than from any other university in the nation. Founded in 1857, San José State is the oldest public institution of higher education on the West Coast. The university offers more than 134 bachelor's and master's degrees with 110 concentrations. See www.sjsu.edu.


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