This week, we're in the beautiful (and snowy) town of Avezzano, Italy. Although it's a lovely city with great food, parks and an even greater scenery, it's actually a business trip. We're here for the annual face-to-face meetup with our international partners of the INTEGRATE project. For those of you unfamiliar with this European Union-funded project, let's start off with a small introduction.
As you may or may not know, the Semiconductor business has been identified as one of the Key Enabling Technologies for the European industrial development by the European Commission. That's why the European Commission has set up a project called Integrated Solutions for Agile Manufacturing in High-mix Semiconductor Fabs, or in short INTEGRATE.
The project aims at conducting research to support the development of new manufacturing procedures, new organizations and new information and control tools to enable IC production lines to efficiently manage a high product and technology mix and heterogeneous lots of different size and priority for development, engineering and prototyping.
INTEGRATE will consider the development of integrated process control and equipment control optimization tools, together with advanced lot flow control techniques that interact with lower and upper decisions levels but also consider various elements of the fab. The project started in 2013 and we have been a very proud partner from the beginning. Other notable Dutch partners are NXP, TNO and TU-Delft.
Every year we get together to discuss our progress and findings. During this meetup, all partners involved are given the opportunity to give an update about the part of the project they're responsible for. This varies from process optimization to the development of applications and theoretical research. Needless to say, we're really excited to be meeting up with our international partners this week. So far it has been an inspiring meetup and we can't wait to present our findings this Friday!