Man in clean room suit at work in chip manufacturing area News

CITC receives candidate status FieldLab Smart Industry

May 22, 2019 – The Chip Integration Technology Centre (CITC) has been named a candidate FieldLab by Smart Industry. Arnold Stokking, member of the Smart Industry steering committee, sees it as a stepping stone towards the definitive FieldLab status. “Nijmegen is a global leader in chip integration and packaging. All conditions to keep that place and to expand it are present. ”

“If CITC did not yet exist, it should be established immediately”, Arnold Stokking, member of the Smart Industry steering group and Managing Director of the Industry unit of TNO, jokingly says. “CITC wants to become the best chip design and packaging center in Europe. For this, all conditions are present in Nijmegen and the east of the Netherlands. Major players such as NXP, Ampleon and Nexperia work closely together with a regional network of innovative SME semicon companies. It is for good reason that the Business Cluster Semiconductors is situated on Novio Tech Campus. Together, that forms a very strong ecosystem that can also excel at an international level in the future. ”

Split and collaborate

As a former Philips employee, Stokking draws a parallel with the High Tech campus in Eindhoven. For a long time, the Philips NatLab was the only engine of innovation there. Until Philips split up and new impetus and entrepreneurship arose in many companies. “In Nijmegen you see a similar process after the division of NXP. It is buzzing on Novio Tech Campus and the surrounding area. If these companies know how to find each other, great opportunities arise. CITC can become the centre for chip integration, with a strong focus on the manufacturing industry and applications. If Nijmegen gets that well organized, they will reap the benefits globally. ”

FieldLabs produce the future

The municipality of Nijmegen and the province of Gelderland decided in November 2018 to support the CITC initiative on Novio Tech Campus with almost 10 million euros. Now, CITC – the Chip Integration Technology Centre – has received the candidate FieldLab status. Is that an important step? It certainly is, Stokking believes: “The ever-increasing integration of ICT and chips in production processes is causing radical changes in all branches of industry and production. Digitalisation changes industry into Smart Industry. FieldLabs function as breeding grounds in which innovation, implementation and training support and reinforce each other. Stokking: “We have introduced the FieldLabs as centres where companies and knowledge institutions devise, develop, test and implement new smart solutions in daily practice. It is the forward positions that show in concrete terms what is possible in the near future. Because they create and shape that future themselves! ”

Fourth industrial revolution

If CITC wants to become a real world player in chip integration, it has to pull out all the stops. That is possible, because in the area of ​​integrating and packaging chips, Nijmegen/East Netherlands already has everything they need for taking next steps. Stokking: “It’s about the digital transformation of the industry, the 4th industrial revolution. We are now used to automation, but this is about digitalisation. Digitalisation makes information more massively and freely available, changes the layout of factories, allows products to independently collect and send data as part of the Internet of Things. We are just now starting to see what major transformations are being enabled by digitalization. ”

Digital twin

A good example of this development are the simulation tools that have led to a huge increase in digital twins in recent years. Stokking: “That term indicates that you are making a digital version of a specific product. Often before you make the product yourself. Take the ‘Financieel Dagblad’ (Dutch newspaper); this is made digitally in the first place and then the paper version follows. That requires a completely different way of thinking and doing, of production and logistics. Think of the digital twin in medicine, where wearables have all kinds of important data of a person digitally available and you can read at an early stage whether something is likely to go wrong so that you can make adjustments or intervene in time. ”

Top in packaging

CITC can play a leading role in that entire process of digitalisation and miniaturization. Also internationally. The message: make sure you have the ‘smaller’ things arranged, so that you can think ‘big’. Stokking: “Nijmegen is already a world leader when it comes to packaging, the packing and stacking of chips so that they can be produced and delivered more compact, smarter and with more functions. That now applies to electronic chips, but is certainly also a challenge if the step to photonics is made. It requires new design processes, experts and teachers who need to be trained on the job.”

He continues: “And it requires cooperation between the semicon companies, which must be encouraged and facilitated by neutral parties such as the municipality, province and government. In an open environment where startups feel comfortable and collaboration is just as obvious as competition. Wherever other important companies would like to come, because they realize that they would otherwise miss the boat.”

Stimulating step

When such developments come together, the status of FieldLab is more than justified. Stokking: “The fact that the CITC has acquired the candidate status is of course also because we expect that the step to a real FieldLab can actually be made. We look at the candidate status as a great and stimulating step forward.”

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap