Minimal Fab Project Workshop at Southampton University

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Date(s) - 28/04/2017
9:30 am - 4:00 pm

Southampton University



Here are the final details for the Minimal Fab Project Workshop at Southampton University on Friday 28th April.

Since it’s inception under the Alvey Project in the early 1980’s the UK had an interest in developing a highly flexible, low volume, highly efficient and modular fabrication facility that can be utilised the smaller device companies to make either small production runs or prototype in house at much lower capital and running costs that normal scale fab facilities. The outcome of that Alvey project was Qudos Technologies who built the first fab in South Yorkshire near Rotherham which had the capacity to process 100mm dia wafers through the latter part of the CMOS process from first metal onwards to complete wafer. This fab was later moved to the Harwell Campus and is still in use today at RAL as part of the MNT Cleanrooms.

JEMI has followed this progress for most of its history and also lead a successful DTI mission to visit Japan and see the HALCA project that was set up to provide the same sort of facility to smaller scale users in Japan and which focussed on massive reductions in energy usage. This project led to some smaller scale operations starting in Japan amongst the end chip user communities who needed a small flexible facility to meet the needs of security sensitive devices pre large scale manufacture. Toyota was one of the fabs visited, now of course considerably scaled up to meet the device needs of EV and Hybrid vehicles electronics.

This is the opportunity that we now have with the rapid development of the IoT market driving the need for massive numbers of sensors and data handling devices and connectivity but in volumes not compatible with full scale fabs. In 2016, around 900 billion devices were shipped of which 28% were ICs and the remainder opto-sensors-and discrete OSD devices ( source; IC Insights). It is this latter 72% of production that contains the devices necessary for the IoT and is the market opportunity.

Workshop Brief:

Minimal Fab® is a futuristic concept from Japan for semiconductor manufacture, which moves away from large substrates, high cost of ownership, and large footprint fabrication facilities. It facilitates rapid manufacture and prototyping of electronic systems at chip level without the need for a cleanroom environment. Minimal Fab® processes half-inch (12.5mm) substrates (smaller than the traditional 6-10 inch for conventional Fab) transported in a shuttle which acts as a clean micro- environment, thus negating the need for cleanroom facilities. The substrates are smaller, but processes are faster using this new technology, and each machine is about the size of a water cooler, meaning lab space can be maximised. Minimal Fab® is fully robotic, which means that training is simple, and it can be used by students through to experienced fabricators. There is a wide range of units available, and the University of Southampton is trying to introduce Minimal Fab® for the first time in the UK, which enable rapid lower cost manufacturing of prototype electronic systems for the UK.

In this workshop, we will discuss how we are going to collaborate through the UK Minimal Fab® initiative.
For more information on Minimal Fab®, please watch the Video:

We will review Minifab concepts so far and how this new angle on the idea could be developed in the UK environment and bring value to the UK based supply chain including facility design and build, equipment and materials suppliers, chip designers and fabricators and systems houses. The meeting will comprise several presentations and also workshop style break out discussion groups and feedback sessions.


9.30- 10am registration, tea and coffee
10.30 Introductions to Prof Shinichi Saito from ECS University of Southampton and JEMI
11.30 Presentations on the Minifab concept and developments to date
12.30 Lunch and networking
14.00 Break out sessions
15.00 feedback and discussions
15.30 Close

We are expecting around 20 delegates from the University of Southampton and there is space for 20 delegates from JEMI’s industry membership; and network.

The location is in the Nanotechnology Centre Building 53 of the Highfield Campus in Southampton. Car parking has been arranged at the Avenue Campus 10 mins walk from B53. Campus maps and directions are at this link;

There is a nominal charge of £35 for non JEMI members and for JEMI and IMAPS members the meeting is free of charge. There will be an evening before dinner at the Dock o’ the Bay restaurant nearby costs to be approximately £40, and local hotels include Jurys Inn, The Travelodge on the Avenue, Highfield Lodge Hotel and Holiday Inn Express.

Please register at the JEMI website registration opens shortly as numbers are strictly limited to ensure good discussion groups participation and parking is also limited.

Note all fees are payable by card in advance and invoices will be e-mailed or available on the day
Looking forward to seeing you there.


Bookings are closed for this event.

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