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Fusionopolis Two to support the future of Singapore's manufacturing industry

Nurdianah Md Nur | Oct. 26, 2015
The new R&D complex will house a joint laboratory by Applied Materials and A*STAR, which will focus on developing advanced semiconductor technology to fabricate future generations of logic and memory chips.

Singapore has opened a new research and development (R&D) complex in one-north to support the future of the republic's manufacturing industry.

Called Fusionopolis Two, the S$450 million complex aims to enable the public sector and private sector players to collaborate and innovate.

"Already, manufacturing is being transformed by digital technologies such as the Internet of Things, greater automation and new methods of manufacturing such as additive manufacturing," said Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the launch of the complex on 19 October 2015.  "So, with this project, we will be able to build and integrate capabilities ... for example, in materials science, machine design to support multi-national corporations, and small and medium enterprises."

Four research institutes under the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) will be housed at the new Fusionopolis Two. They are the the Data Storage Institute (DSI), Institute of Microelectronics (IME), Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE), and the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech)

The co-location of these institutes brings together research capabilities such as data analytics, computational sciences, social and cognitive computing analytics, advanced materials, silicon photonics, future data centre storage technologies and nanofabrication, said A*STAR.

The opening of Fusionopolis Two comes against the backdrop of the highest Gross Domestic Expenditure in R&D recorded, at S$7.6 billion in 2013. Developed by JTC, the complex consists of three towers: the five-storey Synthesis housing laboratories and clean rooms, the 11-storey Kinesis housing wet and dry labs, and the 18-storey multi-tenanted Innovis.

Private-public partnership to develop advanced semiconductor technology
As part of its collaboration with A*STAR, US-based Applied Materials will be opening an R&D laboratory at the Fusionopolis Two complex.

The S$150 million laboratory will focus on developing advanced semiconductor technology to fabricate future generations of logic and memory chips, according to a joint press release.

It will house 60 researchers and scientists, who will work together with A*STAR's research teams. A*STAR's IMRE, IME, and Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC) will contribute to research in low-defect processing, ultra-thin film materials, materials analysis and characterisation, and modelling and simulation in many areas.

The joint laboratory is also supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board, and is in line with its efforts to promote R&D and advanced manufacturing activities. The intention is for products developed by the joint laboratory to be manufactured by Applied Materials in Singapore.

In addition, Applied Materials plans to conduct experiments on the synchrotron at the Singapore Synchrotron Light Source (SSLS) and work with the National University of Singapore where a new beamline for semiconductor applications is to be developed. Funding for the construction of the new beamline is supported by Singapore's National Research Foundation.

"Successful public-private partnerships, leveraging complementary strengths, help create new forms of value from Singapore and keep the local industry competitive," Russell Tham, Corporate Vice President & Regional President South East Asia, Applied Materials.


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