IISc, Samsung to develop solutions for safer semiconductor devices
Public research university Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and electronics company Samsung have joined hands to develop solutions to produce reliable and safe semiconductor chips. Under this partnership, the two organisations will promote research and development work in the field of on-chip electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection. The solutions developed in this research will be deployed in Samsung’s advanced process nodes.
The related research and development work will be carried out by the Department of Electronic Systems Engineering (DESE), IISc, and in collaboration with the Samsung Semiconductor India Research (SSIR) group.
“Our goal is also to increase capacity building through training programs at the postgraduate level, opening up opportunities for students to pursue industry internships, and encourage entrepreneurial ventures by young researchers,” said Balajee Sowrirajan, corporate vice president (CVP) and managing director (MD), SSIR.
Semiconductor devices like integrated circuits (IC) and system-on-chip (SoC) are very sensitive to ESD failures, especially those developed using advanced Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) techniques. The risk increases as electronic devices become smaller and faster. ESD often damages semiconductor components, and in worse cases, sets off explosions. Despite the risks associated with ESD failures, the research and development work in the field is limited; IISc is among the few institutes which are actively conducting ESD device research work. In the past too, the institute collaborated with global semiconductor industries on advanced nano-electronics technology and ESD solutions.
“We have carried out both fundamental and applied research on ESD protection devices, with a strong emphasis on creating practical solutions for the semiconductor industry in a range of technology nodes,” said Prof Shrivastava, the lead of the research work.
As per the professional body ESD Association, the average product losses due to ESD can be up to 33%. Further, the actual cost of ESD damage to the electronics industry may even run into billions of dollars.