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  • Alliance to Focus on Electronics Packaging Research
Nov 2003
BINGHAMTON, N.Y., Nov. 17 -- An alliance between State University of New York's Binghamton University (BU), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and the Infotonics Technology Center Inc. will help speed the commercialization of next-generation microsystems by focusing on electronics packaging research.

BU's Integrated Electronics Engineering Center (IEEC) will contribute expertise in mechanics, thermal management and reliability, said Bahgat Sammakia, interim vice president for research and director of the IEEC, a New York State Center for Advanced Technology. The team will work to improve products and technologies in fields from health care and homeland security to agriculture, consumer products and manufacturing processes, he said.

The Infotonics Technology Center, based in Candandigua, N.Y., is a not-for-profit corporation that operates New York State's Center of Excellence in Photonics and Microsystems. It is a cooperative effort among the private sector, state educational institutions and government, including Corning Inc., Eastman Kodak Co. and Xerox Corp.. Part of Gov. George Pataki’s $1 billion high tech-biotechnology initiative, the Infotonics Center is expected to create 5,000 jobs by 2010.

In addition to projects for the founding corporate members, the Infotonics Center's interim packaging lab is currently providing services for Integrated Nano-Technologies, a Rochester-based company that specializes in chemically synthesizing complex electronic circuits and devices.

Representatives from RPI and Binghamton met recently with Infotonics management and scientists from Corning, Kodak and Xerox to review research opportunities and to discuss potential business and government customers. Several BU faculty were already involved in individual research projects sponsored by the Infotonics Center, Sammakia said. The alliance will enhance those relationships and provide significant new opportunities for collaborative research, he said.

Sammakia said such small-scale systems research and engineering is expected to result in new machines that will be thinner than the human hair, diagnostics that will function at the molecular level and electronics packaging materials that will be lighter, stronger and more versatile than anything in existence.

"Electronics packaging is all-important to microsystems. Take the microprocessor out of your computer, lay it on your desk and you have little more than an interesting doodad. That's because, in the same way that the potentials of the human brain are realized only as a result of the protection and environmental interfaces provided by the human body, microdevices are wholly dependent on their packaging for the mechanical supports and interconnections needed to realize their potential," Sammakia said.

Duncan Moore, CEO of the Infotonics Center, said the alliance is expected to have national impact because its unique packaging capabilities will be able to provide the kind of breakthrough research needed by this rapidly emerging field.

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