April 24, 2023

Purdue, Dassault Systèmes, Lam Research sign MOU to utilize latest virtual twin technology to transform semiconductor research and workforce development

Innovative Purdue collaboration highlighted at annual CHIPS for America summit

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University is taking semiconductor workforce development and research to new levels with the signing of a three-way agreement with industry leaders Lam Research and Dassault Systèmes focused on training today’s students for future semiconductor careers and forging next-generation breakthroughs in education and technology development.

Alyssa Wilcox, Purdue’s senior vice president for partnerships and chief of staff to the president, commemorated the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) in a ceremony April 17 with Bill DeVries, vice president for industry transformation and customer success at Dassault Systèmes North America, and Vahid Vahedi, chief technology officer of Lam Research. The MOU builds on the foundation of agreements Purdue entered earlier this year with each partner. It marks a significant expansion into a comprehensive three-way relationship, showing the deepening collaboration between Purdue and these two virtual ecosystem leaders.


The signing came as one of the highlights of the CHIPS for America: Execute for Global Success national summit held in Washington, D.C. The second-year event focused on U.S. competitiveness in semiconductor R&D and workforce in a global context.

“Cutting-edge education and research are at the heart of meeting the needs of the semiconductor industry now and in the future,” said Mark Lundstrom, Purdue’s chief semiconductor officer. “This collaboration with Dassault Systèmes and Lam Research will demonstrate the power of virtual twins and simulation tools in workforce development and in accelerating the pace of innovation.”

“Lam’s Semiverse Solutions portfolio provides an immersive virtual semiconductor platform that democratizes workforce development,” said David Fried, corporate vice president, Semiverse Solutions, at Lam Research. “Lam is proud to team up with Purdue and Dassault Systèmes to extend the physical world into a virtual fabrication world in order to upskill future semiconductor talent and potentially inspire future breakthroughs.”

“Semiconductors are a critical component of most consumer and business experiences today, from cars to mobile phones to connected homes and appliances, yet we have a shortage of semiconductor engineers in the U.S. to meet a growing demand,” DeVries said. “Our aim with this partnership is to deliver realistic, immersive workforce training that leverages the power of virtual twins that will ultimately speed design and manufacturing of future semiconductors.”

Under the MOU, Purdue will utilize Dassault Systèmes’ virtual twin platforms and augmented reality technology, and Lam Research’s semiconductor fabrication expertise and Semiverse Solutions portfolio — a range of virtual tool, processing and simulation software that provides the experience once only possible in a multibillion-dollar fab. Through this collaboration, Purdue intends to offer a virtual fabrication tool environment to accelerate workforce training, propel semiconductor research and facilitate the development of future high-tech components and products. Dassault Systèmes is a leader in providing virtual twin experiences for global industries.

Goals include creating a virtual fabrication module for Purdue’s STARS (Summer Training, Awareness, and Readiness for Semiconductors) undergraduate program that received nearly 750 applications in only its second year.

Another key focus of the MOU is establishing undergraduate and graduate student team projects centered around virtual fabrication. These projects will utilize the actual tools available at Birck Nanotechnology Center’s cleanroom facility for process simulation and validation as well as developing virtual fabrication modules using the Semiverse Solutions platform from Lam Research, which can be incorporated into existing semiconductor courses in the College of Engineering curriculum at Purdue as well as hosted on Purdue’s chipshub to be accessed by the broader academic community.

“By leveraging Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE digital platform alongside Lam Research’s virtual fabrication tools, our goal is to develop virtual twin experiences that accelerate semiconductor training, research and sustainability. We will first pilot this to the Birck Center facilities,” said Zhihong Chen, director of the nanotechnology center. “This will enable the development of unit process simulations and their integration into a virtual process flow, facilitating end-to-end semiconductor device fabrication.”

Building on long-standing collaborations, the MOU with Dassault Systèmes and Lam Research signifies a shared intent to align with Purdue’s commitment to academic excellence and positions the university at the forefront of cutting-edge technologies, further underscoring its position as the center of the Silicon Heartland.

The move is the latest in an ever-expanding list of global partnerships and initiatives that Purdue has forged to build the collaborative network that will define the future of semiconductor research and development. These collaborations are set to accelerate the pace of discovery and innovation, reducing time, labor and costs through digital technologies. 

Purdue’s growing semiconductor innovation ecosystem is one of four key pillars of Purdue Computes, a comprehensive initiative that also aims to position the Department of Computer Science as a top 10 national program, become a leader in the field of physical artificial intelligence, and advance quantum science and engineering to create future technologies that enable unparalleled excellence at scale.

Purdue is a national leader in microelectronics materials, devices, chip design, tool development, manufacturing, packaging and sustainability, spanning the semiconductor ecosystem in software and hardware with long-standing faculty excellence.

Strategic initiatives in semiconductors, such as the first comprehensive, large-scale Semiconductor Degrees Program, announced by Purdue in 2022, are intended to prepare the next generation of workers.

The summit comes just two weeks after South Korea memory chip maker SK hynix announced plans to construct a $4 billion advanced chip-packaging facility in the Purdue Research Park. The facility would be responsible for advanced chip packaging — the stacking and connecting of multiple chips — to enable dramatically faster data-processing speeds.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a public research institution demonstrating excellence at scale. Ranked among top 10 public universities and with two colleges in the top four in the United States, Purdue discovers and disseminates knowledge with a quality and at a scale second to none. More than 105,000 students study at Purdue across modalities and locations, including nearly 50,000 in person on the West Lafayette campus. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue’s main campus has frozen tuition 13 years in a row. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap — including its first comprehensive urban campus in Indianapolis, the new Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business, and Purdue Computes — at https://www.purdue.edu/president/strategic-initiatives.  

Writer/Media contact: Brian Huchel, bhuchel@purdue.edu 


Alyssa Wilcox

Laura Bakken, Lam Research, Media Relations, publicrelations@lamresearch.com

Natasha Levanti, Dassault Systèmes, North America, Natasha.Levanti@3ds.com

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