Purdue Summer Training, Awareness, and Readiness for Semiconductors

Purdue Summer Training, Awareness, and Readiness for Semiconductors (STARS) was an eight-week program that was offered in summer 2023 to develop deep-tech skills like IC design, fabrication, and packaging, and semiconductor device and materials characterization. The STARS program has two tracks: chip design and semiconductor manufacturing, and is envisioned as the equivalent of a summer internship. Students in each track participated in hands on activities in the Scifres Nanotechnology Cleanroom. Participants received a $10,000 stipend; students who intend to earn up to 6 credit hours will be responsible to cover the tuition from the stipend. The program ran from May 15 to July 7, 2023.

READ: Summer program helps students develop skills for growing semiconductors industry

Semiconductor Design Track
The semiconductor design track gives students a rare undergraduate experience in designing, verifying, and submitting a digital integrated circuit for fabrication (tape-out). The longer-term goal is to equip students to be able to enter semiconductor design and verification internships in industry after their sophomore year. Students are not expected to already have much if any prior circuit design experience. The design track spans six weeks. In week one, students will practice discrete circuit construction and use of bench instrumentation. In week two, students will design, simulate, and create FPGA prototypes of combinational logic functions such as multiplexers, adders, and decoders. In week three, students move on to sequential functions such as state machines, counters, and shift registers. All such functions are essential building blocks for more complex systems. In week four, students will be guided in using rigorous block diagrams to plan more designs based on many instances of functions implemented previously. Small teams will be formed and led by undergraduate teaching assistants who will guide team members in planning their final design. In week five, the teams will implement the blocks for their design. Finally, in week six, students will integrate their designs, and run the designs through a place and route and physical verification process. Later, teaching assistants will integrate all designs into a single pad frame and complete the tape-out. A few months later, the resulting chips will be returned to students mounted on printed circuit boards (PCBs) and guidance will be provided for testing of the designs. Staff for the design track include one graduate teaching assistant, eight undergraduate teaching assistants, two lecturers, and two laboratory coordinators led by Dr. Mark C Johnson.
Semiconductor Manufacturing track
Semiconductor manufacturing track will focus on skill development on chip fabrication, semiconductor materials and device characterization. Students will be learning about cleanroom safety, substrate engineering, oxidation, lithography, thin film deposition (physical vapor deposition and atomic layer deposition), reactive ion etching and wet chemicals-based cleaning and etching, thermal diffusion and annealing, ion implantation, chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) and basic integration of MOSCAP and CMOS devices. They will be trained through online and in-person instruction, interactive discussions, virtual and in-person hands on training in vFabLab and cleanroom, respectively and video tutorials. For material characterization they will be learning about atomic force microscopy, x-ray diffraction analysis, secondary ion mass spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy. For device characterization they will be learning about MOSCAP and MOSFET performance and reliability measurement and analysis. Profs. Muhammad Hussain (ECE), Rahim Rahimi (MSE), Thomas Beecham III (ME and ChE) and Muhammad Alam (ECE) will be serving as instructors with 5 graduate teaching assistants and 1 senior research scientist.
Semiconductor Industry Appeal
Thank you to our 2023 STARS sponsors! Intel, Cisco, Synopsys, L3Harris, SK hynix, SkyWater, Texas Instruments, Western Digital, TSMC, MediaTek, and GlobalFoundries. We are looking for support for summer 2024 and beyond. If your company would like to sponsor STARS, please contact Cristina Farmus. Additional details available in our sponsorship documentation (DOCX).
The 2023 STARS program was made possible by:
cisco GlobalFoundries Intel L3HARRIS SK Hynix Skywater Synopsys Texas Instruments Western Digital tsmc Mediatek Logo