R&D labs promote UK as world chip centre

R&D labs promote UK as world chip centre
Roy Rubenstein Five research laboratories are collaborating to promote the UK as a centre for microelectronics research and training. The Universities of Southampton, Edinburgh and Surrey, the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and the Defence Evaluation Research Agency plan to co-ordinate their research and share resources for the production of advanced ICs. The five labs will also set up a virtual fab, that will focus on producing 0.1?m process CMOS devices. Training is another key issue for the initiative, known as The Network of Excellence in Silicon Microelectronics (NESM). “There is a desperate need for trained manpower in the techniques of semiconductor physics and manufacturing,” said Professor Ron Lawes, head of Rutherford’s central microstructure facility. The five members of the NESM will put together ‘one of the most comprehensive courses on semiconductors’. The motivation for the initiative is simple: “The UK has been very successful in attracting inward investment,”said Lawes. “But the semiconductor industry worldwide has choices; just because it is here today doesn’t mean it will be in five or ten years time.”


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