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Filling the technology gap through balanced joint development projects and contracted independent research providers

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4 Author(s)
S. Runnels ; Southwest Res. Inst., San Antonio, TX, USA ; F. Miceli ; I. Kim ; B. Easter

Over the past several years, a noticeable amount of the semiconductor manufacturing industry's overall R&D burden has shifted from chip manufacturer to equipment supplier. However, it is difficult for equipment suppliers to support the permanent dedicated research staff required to bear their increasing R&D burden. Likewise, their counterparts inside the chip manufacturer are urged to focus on current process development, integration, and efficiency issues. This shift in the R&D burden has been widely recognized in the supplier community, which has referred to it as the “technology gap”. This paper describes one way of dealing with that technology gap. A successful joint development project (JDP) between SpeedFam Corporation and Lucent Technologies is described and used to exemplify how the R&D burden can be properly balanced by allowing each organization to focus on their core competency. Key to the success of the JDP was the use of private, independent R&D supplied under contract by Southwest Research Institute, which also helped facilitate the balance through preliminary self-funded R&D. The paper explains how issues regarding intellectual property protection and ownership were successfully resolved and briefly describes the technology produced from the project

Published in:

Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Conference and Workshop, 1998. 1998 IEEE/SEMI

Date of Conference:

23-25 Sep 1998