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Swansea University and KLA Lead Semiconductor Innovation with Groundbreaking PhD Projects in Collaboration with NPL

21st March 2024

Swansea, UK – In an ambitious move to advance semiconductor technologies, Swansea University, in partnership with KLA and the esteemed National Physical Laboratory (NPL), announces the initiation of two pioneering PhD projects. These projects aim to harness artificial intelligence (AI) and develop innovative metrology techniques, setting new benchmarks in the automotive and compound semiconductor markets.

The first project is poised to utilize AI to enhance semiconductor device processes and defect prediction, crucial for the thriving automotive semiconductor market. With the demand for electric, hybrid, and autonomous vehicles on the rise, the industry's need for effectively flawless semiconductor devices has never been more critical. This initiative is expected to investigate and improve the application of AI in automated inspection and defect recognition. Swansea University, KLA, and NPL are at the forefront of this venture, promising to transform semiconductor quality control and production efficiency dramatically.

The second PhD opportunity, in collaboration with the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), and based in Teddington, near London, will focus on creating new analysis techniques  for semiconductor wafers and devices, specifically focussing on the latest in compound semiconductor materials. These materials are pivotal for a range of technologies from electric vehicles to quantum computing. The project aims to tackle the challenges posed by material and processing defects, leveraging machine learning for enhanced inspection and defect identification. This research is vital for improving yields, reducing costs, and accelerating market growth for compound semiconductor devices.

Both projects are integral to the "UK Semiconductor Industry Future Skills" (UK-SIFS) Doctoral Training Initiative. This initiative represents a collaborative effort involving Swansea University, the University of Leeds, the Royce Institute, and leading industry partners such as KLA and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL). UK-SIFS is designed to arm a new generation of PhD students with essential, practical skills and knowledge indispensable to the UK semiconductor industry.

The involvement of the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in these projects underscores its commitment to maintaining the UK's global standing in scientific research and innovation. NPL, the UK's national measurement standards laboratory, is renowned for its extensive research and development in the field of metrology, offering unparalleled expertise and facilities. NPL's collaboration will provide invaluable resources and support for the development of new metrology tools and techniques, reinforcing the projects' aims to enhance semiconductor analysis and quality control.

These strategic endeavours highlight Swansea University, KLA, and NPL's dedication to driving technological advancements in the semiconductor industry. The collaborative effort is expected not only to produce significant research outcomes but also to cultivate the next generation of industry leaders equipped to address the sector's future challenges.

About Swansea University: A leading research institution in Wales, Swansea University is celebrated for its innovation in engineering, computer science, and technology.

About KLA: KLA Corporation ("KLA") develops industry-leading equipment and services that enable innovation throughout the electronics industry. We provide advanced process control and process-enabling solutions for manufacturing wafers and reticles, integrated circuits, packaging, printed circuit boards and flat panel displays. In close collaboration with leading customers across the globe, our expert teams of physicists, engineers, data scientists and problem-solvers design solutions that move the world forward. Investors and others should note that KLA announces material financial information including SEC filings, press releases, public earnings calls and conference webcasts using an investor relations website (ir.kla.com). Additional information may be found at: www.kla.com.

About the National Physical Laboratory (NPL): NPL is the UK's national metrology institute, dedicated to providing measurement solutions that underpin the UK's prosperity and quality of life. From new antibiotics to tackle resistance and more effective cancer treatments, to secure quantum communications and superfast 5G, NPL's science, engineering, and technology makes possible these and many other advancements.

Science and Engineering: Fully Funded Swansea University and KLA PhD: Metrology and Process Integration for defect mapping of next generation semiconductor materials and devices (RS576) - Swansea University

Science and Engineering: Fully Funded EPSRC iCASE and NPL PhD: Metrology and Process Integration for defect mapping of next generation semiconductor materials and devices (RS577) - Swansea University



For further information on the PhD projects and the UK-SIFS initiative, please contact [Prof. Owen Guy email: o.j.guy@swansea.ac.uk ].

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