October 19, 2012

M+W joins Global 450 Consortium at CNSE to focus on facilities

By: Richard A. D'Errico

Source: The Business Review

M+W Group, one of the largest builders of computer chip-manufacturing plants, has been picked to join the Global 450 Consortium based at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE).

The consortium is focused on developing technology to transition computer chip manufacturing from 300 millimeter wafers to 450 millimeter wafers. Its members include GlobalFoundries, Intel, Samsung, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. and IBM.

M+W Group was selected by CNSE to head a segment focusing on new facility and infrastructure technologies and managing building and facility suppliers who are members of the organization.

Rick Whitney, who heads M+W U.S., which is based in Watervliet, New York, said his company’s role in the consortium will be to support whatever processes the chip designers develop to reach the 450 mm goal.

M+W and other partners will play a role in overcoming challenges posed by building chips on the larger wafers.

Whitney said another important issue his group will focus on is developing solutions that will lead to reducing energy and water use and minimizing waste at the plants.

“What we will do is build a group of associate members that will collaborate to find the technological solution for that 450 manufacturing node,” Whitney said. “We’re in the leadership position to pull all this together, and over the next several years to work with manufacturers and equipment suppliers to ensure the 450 environment is workable.”

Whitney said M+W was in a leadership position when the industry transitioned from 200 mm to 300 mm wafers and said leading a group within the Global 450 Consortium will help it remain a leader in the next transition.

"Our goal is to remain the premier and preeminent designer/builder,” he said.

The Global 450 Consortium’s headquarters and core operations are located at the nanocollege’s Albany NanoTech Complex. The consortium will be housed in the new NanoFab Xtension building, which is under construction and expected to be completed by the end of the year.