Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus

Swinburne Sarawak and X-FAB collaboration clinches microelectronics award in the US

November 3, 2017

Salil (left) posing with Dan Krueger of Honeywell and Mary Cristina of University of Missouri.

KUCHING  –  A research project carried out by Swinburne Sarawak and X-FAB Sarawak Sdn Bhd won the ‘Best of Session’ award at the International Microelectronics Assembly and Packaging Society (IMAPS) Annual Symposium held in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.

Swinburne Sarawak is the only campus of Swinburne University of Technology outside Australia and is ranked as the top international university in Borneo by London-based Times Higher Education (THE) in its inaugural Asia-Pacific University Ranking 2017.

X-FAB is the leading analog/mixed-signal and MEMS foundry group manufacturing silicon wafers for automotive, industrial, consumer, medical and other applications. Its customers worldwide benefit from the highest quality standards, manufacturing excellence and innovative solutions by using X-FAB’s modular CMOS processes in geometries ranging from 1.0 to 0.13 µm, and its special BCD, SOI and MEMS long-lifetime processes. X-FAB’s analog-digital integrated circuits (mixed-signal ICs), sensors and micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) are manufactured at six production facilities in Germany, France, Malaysia and the U.S.

Salil Kulkarni, a recent graduate of Swinburne Sarawak and Ir. Raj Sekar Sethu, Principal Engineer (Technology Process Development) of X-FAB and also a PhD candidate of the university, received the award for their paper entitled ‘Reduction of Thermal Stress – Part I: Passivation Thickness Optimisation of Standard Bump Design’ under the Process Integration session.

Their research focuses on simulation of various connections within the microchip. According to Raj, microchips, which can be smaller than the size of a rice grain, are made of different layers and there is a complex system of connections between the layers, some of which are made of brittle materials.

“The simulation allows us to experiment with different materials to further optimise the microchip’s robustness and functionality,” said Raj.

Salil, who travelled to North Carolina to present the project paper said the award has put both the university and X-FAB on the world map for research in semiconductors.

“It really is an honour for our research to be recognised at an international conference attended by professionals from the field,” remarked Salil.

Director of Research at Swinburne Sarawak, Associate Professor Wallace Wong remarked that the university continues to boost its research capacity and industry engagement to produce real-world impact.

He said the university’s two newly launched Centre for Digital Futures and Transport Innovation Centre brings researchers from different disciplines together in a spirit of creativity and collaboration to change and shape community and industry expectations.

Both Centres are currently offering Master by Research scholarships to high-achieving students with the aim to find engineering solutions related to the automotive industry, and to create digital platform solutions for healthcare, eco-tourism and transportation in rural communities.

Interested applicants are required to email their CV, cover letter and transcript to Project Leader Associate Professor Patrick Then at pthen@swinburne.edu.my with the heading ‘Digital Platform Scholarship’ or ‘Transport Innovation Scholarship’ before 12 November 2017. Shortlisted applicants will be called for interview on 21 to 23 November 2017.



Marcella Gider
Marketing Executive (Communications and Events)

  +60 82 415 353