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Applied Materials Extends Partnership with A*STAR’s IME


Applied Materials, Inc. AMAT has decided to take forward its research collaboration with the Institute of Microelectronics (IME) and extend it for another five years.

IME is a research unit under the Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) that operates with a view to add value to Singapore's semiconductor industry.

Inside the Extension Plan

The duo’s main focus is on developing ways to make chips and associated devices, smaller, smarter and faster. To achieve this, the duo will focus their R&D efforts toward Fan-Out Wafer-Level Packaging (FOWLP).

FOWLP is a key technology platform that enables integration of multiple chips in a small form factor on a single package. This platform is increasingly gaining significance with the rapid evolution of Internet of Things (IOT) and big data in the connected devices market.

The idea is to speed up the ongoing advancements that IME has been making with semiconductor hardware, process and device structures, leveraging on Applied Materials, Wafer-Level Packaging (WLP) processing equipment.

The duo will make a combined investment of $188 million to expand their Centre of Excellence in Advanced Packaging to a second location at Fusionopolis 2. The center has an existing facility at Singapore’s Science Park II. The two facilities combined will cover around 1,700 square meters and employ nearly 100 scientists, engineers and researchers.

The Singapore center in already engaged in multi-disciplinary research aiming to innovate across advanced packaging technologies such as bump, 2.5D interposers, TSV and now FOWLP.

A Win-win Situation

The move makes sense for Applied Materials as it could make use of this joint hub in developing advanced technologies and products for international markets.

As far as IME is concerned, the move will help it to boost the microelectronics industry in Singapore leveraging on Applied Materials’ innovative technology.

Zacks Rank and Stocks to Consider

Currently, Applied Materials is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company. Better-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector include Facebook, Inc. FB, Yirendai Ltd. YRD and LinkedIn Corporation LNKD, each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

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