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ATIC and Saxony to open twin semiconductor labs

Research labs in UAE and Germany to collaborate on semiconductor technology

The labs will focus on 3D integrated microelectronics.
The labs will focus on 3D integrated microelectronics.

Abu Dhabi's Advanced Technology Investment Company and the state of Saxony, Germany have announced that they will open a pair of research labs focused on semi-conductor technologies.

The ‘Twin Labs' project will see one lab hosted at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi and the other based at the Technische Universität Dresden.

The labs, which will both host 10-12 graduate and PhD students, will focus on research around three-dimensional chip stacking, a potentially faster and more energy efficient semiconductor technology.

The Abu Dhabi lab will investigate the minimum-energy/low-power features of 3D-integrated microelectronics in a variety of computing, communication, storage and sensing design contexts, while the Saxony facility will work on the interconnect aspects of 3D integration, especially the crucial role of TSV in the back-end-of-the-line structure of 3D-stacked chips. The goal is to develop modules (design blocks) for high-rate interfaces between multiple chips in a semiconductor chip-stack.

ATIC and Saxony will invest $2.4m in the plan over two years, which builds on a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between the two in 2010, to partner on technology development.

"Dresden, Saxony has become the largest microelectronics hub in Europe, and we are pleased to strengthen our collaboration in driving the semiconductor industry forward," said Ibrahim Ajami, CEO of ATIC. "This working partnership is particularly significant as we work to establish Abu Dhabi as a global R&D hub. The areas of research Twin Labs will be addressing are promising and timely to the industry, and I am confident the intellectual property generated will be of great value to ATIC, GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Abu Dhabi."

Dr Fred Moavenzadeh, President of Masdar Institute, said: "The Twin Labs project will provide substantial benefits to Abu Dhabi in terms of human and intellectual capital development. The cooperation between Masdar Institute and TU-Dresden will produce highly educated manpower ready to directly contribute the Abu Dhabi's growing Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) workforce. The cooperation will also provide a strategic connection between Saxony and Abu Dhabi -both regions that have aligned their interests to achieve regional competitive advantage through establishment of robust semiconductor industries."