Philips announced a collaboration between the MiPlaza shared research facility, Agilent Technologies and Cascade Microtech, to establish a world-class Electronic Measurement Laboratory at MiPlaza on the High Tech Campus Eindhoven.

The laboratory will enable development of the increasingly complex and high speed chips which are at the heart of next generation wireless systems. Such innovations include wireless communication in the home providing the infrastructure for ambient intelligence, high frequency RF imaging systems in hospitals, and ultra low power wireless sensors for use in and around the human body.

These wireless innovations will demand massively increased data transfer rates, 100-1000 times higher than currently available. This means increased bandwidth and consequently higher frequencies. The new laboratory supports these requirements, enabling measurements to be performed at very high frequency in the RF range. The Electronic Measurement Laboratory will be equipped with state-of-the-art high frequency measurement instrumentation, including Cascade Microtech’s RF probes and probe station, and Agilent Technology’s PNA Network Analyzer, parametric analyser and IC-CAP device modelling software, capable of handling 300-mm wafers and measuring up to 67 GHz. The laboratory will enable research groups to perform precise electrical measurements on semiconductor integrated circuits (IC), directly on-wafer, and will be fully supported by specialist applications personnel and measurement consultancy.

MiPlaza (Microsystems Plaza) is part of Philips Research, and is one of the largest shared research service centers in the world. It offers world-class infrastructure and expertise enabling customers and partners to carry out high-tech research and development projects in the most cost-effective way. The laboratory will be available for research partnership programs, where corporate innovation leaders, start-up companies, academic and research institutes can utilize this advanced measurement facility in an Open Innovation environment. As well as establishing the new laboratory, MiPlaza, Agilent and Cascade will also pursue an applications development program, maintaining the measurement platform up to date with world-class standards, and increasing the shared expertise on wafer-level characterization applications.

“This is a major step forward for MiPlaza. Not only does it further strengthen the infrastructure and expertise we can offer in the area of semiconductor R&D, but it’s also a significant expansion in the MiPlaza Value Network of strategic partnerships,” said Gerjan van de Walle, business development director, MiPlaza. “We are very pleased with the collaborative work being done with MiPlaza,” said Benoit Neel, vice president and general manager, Agilent Technologies. “It is Agilent’s strategic intent to work with the leading research entities and industry champions in order to facilitate innovation. Agilent believes that initiatives such as MiPlaza create tremendous opportunities for technical advancement.”

“By creating the center and providing a state of the art set of tools, we hope to drive innovation in the development of advanced semiconductors,” said Thaine Allison, director of advanced development, Cascade Microtech.

The establishment of this major new laboratory is another excellent example of Open Innovation in practice: the principle that fundamental technological breakthroughs and generic innovations can best be achieved through close cooperation between companies, research centres and universities. The collaboration gives further economic impetus to the region, already one of the most technologically innovative in Europe.