The main point of CMC's program is to give graduate students a chance to make a real device, test it, characterize it, and make sure it works. That experience gives students the kind of training they cannot get by just simulating.
And they are not only working on last-generation technologies, but the latest leading-edge research too. "We do silicon nitride. We do silicon photonics. We're moving into printed electronics. We do lots of MEMS. We do micro-fluidics -- anything that is micro- and nano-based we can support. There is also very advanced packaging going on in Canada, including 3D, TSVs, and some very innovative material systems."
In the 30 years since its founding in 1984, CMC has developed long-term relationships with Imec (formerly the Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre) and the Institute of Micro of Electronics. In fact, CMC believes it is Imec's largest single customer in terms of building silicon photonic wafers, which it has been doing with Imec for 10 years.
"We also have built up a lot of internal expertise. We can actually put a student through a course that enables them to make an optical device and test it out," McWalter said. "And our 30-year track record has not been for profit, but instead we are a mission-driven organization, and our mission is to support researchers in Canada and the training of highly qualified people in the micro-/nano-area and to support commercialization of Canadian electronics."
Nearly all of CMC's funding come from government grants, for which it always puts together the proposal, presents it to the right agency, and explains what administrative procedures will be put in place to show how the money was spent wisely.
— R. Colin Johnson, Advanced Technology Editor, EE Times