Chips 101 showcases RIT and Upstate NY capabilities in computer chip design and manufacturing. | So Good News


Becoming the Silicon Valley of the Northeast may soon have as much power as the computer chips that will be designed and developed in upstate New York.

The recent Chips 101 event, hosted by the University of Rochester Institute of Technology’s Government and Community Relations, went there. More than 50 local government and corporate representatives will discuss how computer chips are designed and manufactured—and universities, They studied how government and workforce development initiatives could help this area become a key US resource in the computer manufacturing and assembly process. chips for consumer devices such as cell phones.

At RIT, undergraduates are learning how to manufacture computer chips. At other universities, students are seeing this process for the first time in graduate school. Workforce training for corporations and veterans is conducted extensively at RIT, with trainees seeking entry and mid-level positions immediately, and regular training in advanced electronics assembly training for students and companies.

Visitors to the event learned about the fast-moving industry, including the misconception that computer chips are only made overseas. Southeast Asia is the dominant force, capturing US initiatives and focusing on manufacturing superiority. There are several manufacturing facilities across the U.S., and more are planned, but the challenges to ramping up production are time and resources. Today’s products require more transistors to ensure maximum speed and performance for many related functions.

“Despite how small the form factor is, it’s amazing how thin and delicate these structures are. There are more components on the chip that need to communicate together. But better communications means better devices,” said Karl Hirschman, professor and director of the microelectronics engineering program at RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering.

It takes three months to make computer chips. In 1971, 2300 transistors were used for devices. More than 125 million were used in 2004; “This is an age where you can use millions of integrated circuits compared to today’s technology. And the trend is increasing,” explains Hirschman.

The chips are very small — 20 to 30 nanometers; which is a billionth of a meter — but stronger; For example, They are often grouped together in confined spaces with special functions such as memory or imaging interfaces, for example.

Micron Technology, a leading manufacturer of computer memory chips, recently announced a major investment in downtown New York that will enhance the ecosystem that includes the supply chain resources needed for manufacturing.

“What makes Fab unique is its people; That’s why we’re here. Semiconductor companies build near other manufacturing centers. The supply chain will continue to grow,” said Carson Henry, senior director of US Expansion Strategic Program Management. He oversees the development of two new and expansive creative facilities in the U.S. “Everyone has something to contribute, and there’s a rich pipeline of talent here.”

Upstate New York’s university ecosystem and talent pipeline; The region’s established imaging and vision industries and natural resources are key to the decision to invest in the region.

Chip manufacturing is one part of the broader equation of putting chips in devices. The latter includes the extensive workforce skills needed to assemble chips onto circuit boards for products.

Not only are more chips needed, but the assembly process for circuit boards, which are included in a wide range of devices and systems, has become more intensive, said Martin Anselm, associate professor of mechanical engineering technology in RIT’s College of Engineering Technology. He is also director of CEMA—RIT’s Center for Electronics Manufacturing and Assembly.

“We have a hand in all the different processes, from designing computer chips to circuit boards to final products. CEMA has a manufacturing line you can find anywhere in the world, and many of our graduates can be found in the semiconductor industry further enhancing their overall manufacturing process,” Anselm explained. “We teach every step of the process.”


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