ASU Research Park to add ‘materials-to-fab’ centre
EP&T MagazineProduction / Materials Semiconductors Applied Materials ASU MTF-Center research semiconductor
More than $270 million in corporate and state investment will help advance Arizona’s semiconductor industry
Arizona State University (ASU) and Applied Materials Inc. announced an alliance, aided by the Arizona Commerce Authority, that brings more than $270 million to create a world-class shared research, development and prototyping facility, the Materials-to-Fab (MTF) Center, in the university’s MacroTechnology Works building at ASU Research Park.
The MTF Center will be designed to accelerate the transfer of innovations from ideation to fab prototype by bringing Applied Materials’ state-of-the-art semiconductor manufacturing equipment into a collaborative environment where ASU and Applied Materials can work with industry partners, startups, government entities and academic institutions. The MTF Center will provide students and faculty with opportunities for hands-on learning and research on the same 300mm equipment used in leading-edge production fabs.
Applied Materials is the world’s largest provider of semiconductor manufacturing equipment. The company in May announced plans to build the Equipment and Process Innovation and Commercialization (EPIC) Center in California’s Silicon Valley. The EPIC Center is planned as the heart of a high-velocity innovation platform that includes a network of hubs at leading universities, each focused on materials and process innovation. The new MTF Center at ASU will be home to Applied’s Center of Excellence in materials deposition technology.
Accelerate discovery and translational research
“Applied Materials and Arizona State University already enjoy a close partnership and this new alliance around the Materials to Fab Center will take things to a new level,” said ASU President Michael Crow. “But what is more important than the partnership is what it will do for the industry and the country. This is the beginning of a reconfiguration of the way to accelerate discovery and translational research outcomes in response to real world challenges and the development of next-generational processes, materials, equipment, and workforce.”
Design of the MTF Center has already begun, and the new lab is expected to be operational within two years. The MTF Center project is supported by investments of $30 million from the Arizona Commerce Authority, $17 million from ASU, and $25 million in Arizona New Economy Initiative funding and bonds. Applied Materials’ contributions are anticipated to exceed $200 million including capital investments, equipment operation and maintenance, and research and scholarship funding.