Semiconductor Industry Leaders Gather to Engineer a Greener Fab
Rick Gottscho speaking on stage at Technical Symposium 2022
Rick Gottscho speaking on stage at Technical Symposium 2022
Nov 21, 2022
  • Tech Symposium challenges experts to engineer a greener fab
  • Environmental problems include energy consumption and emission 

“Engineering a Greener Fab” was the theme of the Lam Research Technical Symposium, Lam’s premiere forum for intellectual and scientific sharing. This year’s discussion revolved around promoting and discussing technologies that advance environmental sustainability for the wafer fabrication equipment (WFE) industry.  

Why it matters: Lam convened academic and industry leaders to collaborate on innovative solutions that address our industry’s most vexing environmental challenges. Featured speakers represented leading technologists from Intel and Micron and several universities, Cornell, MIT, Northwestern, Oregon State, Purdue, Stanford, Trinity College Dublin, and UC Berkeley. 

  • The two-day event was held Oct. 6-7 at the University of California, Berkeley. 

  • Sessions included industry keynotes, faculty research presentations, an academic panel discussion, a student poster session, the Lam Capital Venture Competition, and networking. 

Rick Gottscho, Lam’s chief technology officer, kicked off the event by noting Lam has gotten to a leadership position by “working with our customers and identifying the greatest challenges that face the industry.” Among those problems, says Gottscho, are atomic-scale precision, affordability, speed to solution, and sustainability—the latter being the symposium’s focus. 

The environmental challenges include: 

  • energy consumption because more and more power is needed in wafer processing 

  • emissions from gases used in semiconductor processing  

2022 Tech Symposium participants included:  

  • Tsu-Jae King Liu, Dean of the College of Engineering, U.C. Berkeley 

  • Carolyn Duran, Vice President, Technology Development and Engineering Manager, Components Research Process Engineering, Intel 

  • Buddy Nicoson, Sr. Vice President, Global Front End Operations, Micron Technology 

  • Karl Haapala, Associate Professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, Oregon State University 

  • Amit Lal, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Cornell University 

  • Michael Morris, Professor of Chemistry, Trinity College Dublin 

  • John Sutherland, Professor of Environmental and Ecological Engineering, Purdue University 

  • Vladimir Bulovic, Director of MIT.nano and Professor of Electrical Engineering, M.I.T. 

  • Jennifer Dunn, Associate Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Northwestern Univ. 

  • Costas Spanos, Director of CITRIS and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, U.C. Berkeley 

  • H.S. Philip Wong, Professor of Electrical Engineering, Stanford Univ. 

  • Nerissa Draeger, Director of Global University Engagements, Lam Research 

A competition on “engineering a greener fab” was also hosted by Lam Capital. Of the 50 global companies who applied, 11 finalists pitched their best ideas in front of a panel of judges. The winning team—xLight—was offered a $250,000 SAFE investment from Lam Capital.  

  • xLight is developing a novel light extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light source, which is required for EUV lithography 

  • Judges included Joe Blair (Bay Bridge Ventures), Kevin Chen (Lam Capital), Tobias Egle (M Ventures), Matt Hershenson (Playground Global), Michelle Kiang (Impact Science Ventures), Markus Moor (Emerald Ventures), and Gayathri Radhakrishnan (Micron Ventures) 

The key to success, Gottscho says, is bringing together diverse groups of people and going outside our company to get fresh ideas. We can brainstorm and innovate together "to solve some of these challenges and not only to just change the world, but maybe to save the world.” 

Watch Rick Gottscho’s introductory remarks: 

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