The global industry association Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) awarded its highest honor to two University of Florida engineering professors this month: Mark Law and Kevin Jones.
The two men were recognized for developing a flexible code in 1990 that modeled semiconductor fabrication processes. It later became a cornerstone for the modern era of computational modeling. Florida Object-Oriented Process Simulator (FLOOPS) is widely used for multi-dimensional modeling for advanced integrated circuit fabrication processes. Use of FLOOPS has enabled continued advances in complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) transistor performance. The 3D nature of FLOOPS proved especially valuable as CMOS transistor design shifted from planar to multi-gate forms.
“The FLOOPS technology enabled movement of some process development from the factory to the computer decreasing time and cost to implement new device designs,” said Bill Bottoms, chairman of the SEMI Award Advisory Committee.
SEMI president and CEO, Denny McGuirk added, “SEMI is proud to honor the University of Florida. In addition to developing a key component of CMOS fabrication process with FLOOPS, UF has contributed valuable time and effort into workforce development for SEMI member companies for many years.”
“We were able to provide understanding of processes so that industry could more effectively optimize their product line,” said Law. He credits the success of the collaboration to their ability to bridge disciplines.
Law, who is the associate dean for academic affairs at UF’s College of Engineering, as well as a professor and former chair of its Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, directed the FLOOPS code development. Jones, the Fredrick Rhines Professor and former chair of Materials Science and Engineering, led an extensive process characterization program that provided a detailed understanding of the relevant dopant-defect interactions needed to validate the specific models used in the FLOOPS code.
“Crossing discipline boundaries has enabled us to view problems from multiple perspectives and to develop rewarding insight into the challenges of modeling the processes used in IC fabrication,” said Jones. He said the award was earned – not just by he and Law – but by the nearly 50 Ph.D. students the two professors have advised throughout the past 20 years of their collaboration.
The SEMI Award was established in 1979. It is open to individuals or teams from industry or academia whose specific accomplishments have broad commercial impact and widespread technical significance for the entire semiconductor industry.
Law and Jones accepted their awards during a banquet at last month’s 2014 SEMI Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS) in Half Moon Bay, Calif.
SEMI is the global industry association serving the nano- and microelectronics manufacturing supply chains. Our 1,900 SEMI member companies are the engine of the future, enabling smarter, faster and more economical products that improve our lives. Since 1970, SEMI has been committed to helping members grow more profitably, create new markets and meet common industry challenges. SEMI maintains offices in Bangalore, Beijing, Berlin, Brussels, Grenoble, Hsinchu, Moscow, San Jose, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.semi.org.