Two engineering professors receive highest honor from global industry association

Published: January 29th, 2014

Category: Announcements, InsideUF, Top Stories

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The global industry association Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International, known as SEMI, awarded its highest honor to two University of Florida engineering professors this month.

Mark Law and Kevin Jones were recognized for developing a flexible code in 1990 that modeled semiconductor fabrication processes. It later became a cornerstone for the modern era of computational modeling.  Florida Object-Oriented Process Simulator, known as FLOOPS, is widely used for multidimensional modeling for advanced integrated circuit fabrication processes. Use of FLOOPS has enabled continued advances in complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor, known as CMOS, transistor performance. The 3D nature of FLOOPS proved especially valuable as CMOS transistor design shifted from planar to multi-gate forms.

“The FLOOPS technology enabled movement of some process development from the factory to the computer decreasing time and cost to implement new device designs,” said Bill Bottoms, chairman of the SEMI Award Advisory Committee.

SEMI president and CEO Denny McGuirk said, “SEMI is proud to honor the University of Florida.  In addition to developing a key component of CMOS fabrication process with FLOOPS, UF has contributed valuable time and effort into workforce development for SEMI member companies for many years.”

“We were able to provide understanding of processes so that industry could more effectively optimize their product line,” said Law. He credits the success of the collaboration to their ability to bridge disciplines.

Law, who is the associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Engineering, as well as a professor and former chair of its department of electrical and computer engineering, directed the FLOOPS code development. Jones, the Fredrick Rhines Professor and former chair of materials science and engineering, led an extensive process characterization program that provided a detailed understanding of the relevant dopant-defect interactions needed to validate the specific models used in the FLOOPS code.

“Crossing discipline boundaries has enabled us to view problems from multiple perspectives and to develop rewarding insight into the challenges of modeling the processes used in IC fabrication,” said Jones. He said the award was earned not just by the two professors, but by the nearly 50 doctoral students they have advised throughout the past 20 years of their collaboration.

The SEMI Award was established in 1979. It is open to individuals or teams from industry or academia whose specific accomplishments have broad commercial impact and widespread technical significance for the entire semiconductor industry.

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