January 10, 2024

Purdue offers free foundational course in semiconductor fabrication

Curriculum developed in collaboration with UT Austin and Intel 

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Virtually anything electronic has at least one semiconductor chip inside it and likely many more. From smartphones to automobiles and myriad other products and systems, the tiny devices are the physical building blocks of the digital age.

How semiconductors are manufactured is the topic of a free online course, titled Semiconductor Fabrication 101, developed by Purdue University, the University of Texas at Austin, Intel Corp. and a group of leading worldwide partners in the field.

The self-paced course, suitable for students and professionals alike, is designed to provide a basic understanding of semiconductor fabrication. The course, which takes three to five hours to complete, features engaging material on an array of industry-standard semiconductor fabrication processes. Those who complete the course receive a certificate issued jointly by Purdue, the University of Texas at Austin and Intel.

“It is intended for anyone who wants to know about semiconductor fabrication,” said Muhammad Hussain, a professor in Purdue’s Elmore Family School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “The course lectures by luminaries from academia and industry are simple and easy to understand and offer a foundational knowledge in this area.”

Intel funded the development of the course by Hussain and Xiuling Li, Temple Foundation Endowed Professor in the Chandra Family Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. Experts from the University of California, Berkeley; Stanford University; the Georgia Institute of Technology; Pennsylvania State University; ASML; and Tokyo Electron Ltd. contributed to the curriculum.

For more information and to register, visit the course registration website.

Individuals taking Semiconductor Fabrication 101 go through video tutorials of actual equipment and process technologies. They then receive hands-on experience using vFabLab, a semiconductor fabrication virtual reality simulation developed by Hussain. Accessible from any computer or mobile device, vFabLab is like the flight simulators that pilots train on before landing in a real-life cockpit. It presents a detailed view of a modern cleanroom environment and steps users through the processes involved in fabricating semiconductor devices.

Topics covered in Semiconductor Fabrication 101 include semiconductor device basics, the semiconductor ecosystem, chip design, oxidation, thermal diffusion and ion implantation, wet and reactive ion etching, lithography, thin film deposition, chemical mechanical polishing and interconnects, and advanced packaging.

The collaboration to develop Semiconductor Fabrication 101 complements activities driven by Purdue’s nation-leading Semiconductor Degrees Program for advancing all areas of semiconductor workforce development, which is focused on building a trained workforce for the rapid expansion of semiconductor manufacturing in the U.S.

In addition to Hussain and Li, contributors to the course include:

  • Chenming Hu, professor emeritus, University of California, Berkeley, and U.S. National Academy of Engineering member.
  • Sanjay Banerjee, the Cockrell Family Regents Chair in Engineering, Chandra Family Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Texas at Austin.
  • Subhasish Mitra, the William E. Ayer Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and Department of Computer Science, Stanford University.
  • Suman Datta, the Joseph M. Pettit Chair in Advanced Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology.
  • Madhavan Swaminathan, the William E. Leonhard Endowed Chair and head of the Department of Electrical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University.
  • Tahir Ghani, Intel senior fellow and U.S. National Academy of Engineering member.
  • Ronald Goossens, adjunct professor, Elmore Family School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University and strategic consultant, ASML.
  • Raney Terrizzi, process manager, Tokyo Electron Ltd.

Writer: Greg Kline

Media contact: Brian Huchel, bhuchel@purdue.edu

Sources: Muhammad Hussain, mmhece@purdue.edu

Vijay Raghunathan, vr@purdue.edu

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