It’s getting harder for U.S.-based industries to maintain competitiveness in business segments that have been moving offshore. But a collaboration between two universities and a maker of electronic interconnects has resulted in a pioneering microelectronics manufacturing research and development center.
The Endicott Interconnect Technologies’ Center for Advanced Microelectronics Manufacturing (CAMM) is a collaborative effort between the company and Binghamton University and Cornell University, with funding from the United States Display Consortium (USDC). The effort will result in flexible, rugged, lightweight electronic components and products that will be critical to next-generation applications in areas such as military and homeland security, lighting, energy and power generation, displays, and product identification and tracking.
Currently, most advanced electronics components are produced on silicon or quartz wafers, or on plates of specialized glass in a “batch” process that has traditionally been the backbone of the IC and flat-panel display industries. At CAMM, research and development will center on what is known as the roll-to-roll (R2R) process (see the figure), which integrates electronics on flexible plastic. This approach to manufacturing means, in theory, that components can be produced more efficiently, at higher yields, and at a lower cost than is common practice today and opens up potential new application areas for flexible electronics.
The CAMM will also provide large-scale testing whereby academic and industrial research groups can test their work for manufacturing applicability without the high costs and risks typically associated with such activities.
Endicott Interconnect Technologies