Cascade, Philips, and Agilent Establish New Research Facility

BEAVERTON, OR /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Cascade Microtech, a worldwide leader in precise electrical measurements on small structures, announced a partnership agreement with Philips' MiPlaza research center and Agilent Technologies to create a new world-class electronic measurement laboratory on the high-tech Campus in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. The laboratory will enable development of complex nanoscale high-speed integrated circuits (ICs) at the heart of next-generation wireless systems.

"This is a major step forward for MiPlaza," said Gerjan van de Walle, business development director, MiPlaza. "Not only does it further strengthen the infrastructure and expertise we can offer in the area of semiconductor R&D, but it's also a significant expansion in the MiPlaza value network of strategic partnerships."

"By creating the center and providing a state-of-the-art set of tools, we hope to drive innovation in the development of advanced semiconductors," said Thaine Allison, director of advanced development, Cascade Microtech.

"We are very pleased with the collaborative work being done with MiPlaza," said Benoit Neel, vice president and general manager, Agilent Technologies. "It is Agilent's strategic intent to work with the leading research entities and industry champions in order to facilitate innovation. Agilent believes that initiatives such as MiPlaza create tremendous opportunities for technical advancement."

The electronic measurement laboratory will be equipped with high-performance, high-frequency measurement instrumentation, including Cascade Microtech's state-of-the-art RF probes, wafer probe station, and Agilent Technology's network analyzer, capable of handling 300 mm wafers with frequencies up to 67 GHz. The lab will enable research groups to perform precise electrical measurements on ICs directly on-wafer and will be fully supported by applications personnel and measurement specialists.

About MiPlaza
MiPlaza (Microsystems Plaza) is part of Philips Research. It is one of the largest shared research service centers in the world. It offers world-class infrastructure and expertise, enabling customers and partners to carry out high-tech research and development projects in the most cost-effective way. The laboratory will be available for research partnership programs, where corporate innovation leaders, start-up companies, academic and research institutes can use this advanced measurement facility in an open-innovation environment.

As well as establishing the new laboratory, MiPlaza, Cascade Microtech and Agilent Technologies will also pursue an applications development program, maintain the measurement platform with world-class standards, and increase the shared expertise on wafer-level characterization applications.

The Next Generation of Wireless Systems
Philips MiPlaza, Cascade Microtech, and Agilent Technologies came together to enable semiconductor research to be driven to the next level. Advanced research tools have always led the way to increased semiconductor performance. The creation of the electronic measurement laboratory seeks to advance the innovation of the next generation of wireless devices and systems. Such innovations include wireless communications in the home, providing the infrastructure for ambient intelligence; high-frequency RF imaging systems in hospitals; and ultra-low-power wireless sensors for use in and around the human body.

These wireless innovations will demand massively increased data transfer rates, 100 to 1000 times higher than currently available. This means increased bandwidth and consequently higher frequencies. The new laboratory supports these requirements, enabling measurements to be performed at very high frequency in the RF range.

The new partnership and establishment of this major new laboratory is another excellent example of open innovation in practice—the principle that fundamental technological breakthroughs and generic innovations can best be achieved through close cooperation between companies, research centers, and universities.

The agreement gives further economic impetus to the region, already one of the most technologically innovative in Europe.

About Cascade Microtech
Cascade Microtech Inc. is a worldwide leader in the precise electrical measurement and test of ICs and other small structures. For technology businesses and scientific institutions who need to evaluate small structures, Cascade Microtech delivers access to, and extraction of, electrical data from wafers, ICs, IC packages, circuit boards and modules, MEMs, biological structures, electro-optic devices, and more. Cascade Microtech's highly reliable production wafer test solutions provide the semiconductor industry with leading-edge probe cards that reduce manufacturing costs of complex semiconductors. Information about Cascade Microtech can be found on the company's Web site.

About Royal Philips Electronics
Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands is one of the world's biggest electronics companies and Europe's largest, with sales of EUR 30.4 billion in 2005. With activities in the three interlocking domains of healthcare, lifestyle, and technology and 158,000 employees in more than 60 countries, it has market leadership positions in medical diagnostic imaging and patient monitoring, color television sets, electric shavers, lighting, and silicon system solutions. News from Philips is located on the company's Web site.

About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. is the world's premier measurement company and a technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences, and chemical analysis. The company's 20,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $5.1 billion in fiscal 2005. Information about Agilent is available on the company's Web site.

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