The research and development of the semiconductor industry in Taiwan began in 1960s. National ChiaoTung University (NCTU) had been soliciting experts in Taiwan and abroad to further the research, development, and education in this field. In 1960, the United Nations Special Foundation approved NCTU’s Institute of Electronics to operate the “Research and TrainingCenter for Telecommunications and Electronics.” Gradually this plan developed into the present Semiconductor Research Center (SRC). With the funds from the Ministry of Education and National Science Council, the joint semiconductor laboratory was built to provide services and help the professors, students, and industries to do prospective research. The scholars’ wholehearted devotion to their works not only advanced the high technology in this field, but also produced well-trained professionals. So far, most of the hard cores in Taiwan semiconductor industry were bred in this center.
The main objective of this center is to educate hi-tech professionals for academic and industrial fields, enhance the level of academic research in electronics, and enlarge the development of the IC industry. In the future, the SRC will cooperate with the National Nano Device Laboratory in the research of submicron. And high-frequency communication components, display components, system chips, next generation micro-optical components, and micro-electro-mechanics will be the priority. Besides, we will constantly breed talents and expand the application fields of semiconductors (P.S.: the SRC has been renamed Nano Facility Center in February 2003).
From The Stone Age to The Silicon Age
In the society of the agriculture period, human beings passed through the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age. Every breakthrough in production technologies had a strong impact on the social development. Now, the production value of electronic devices made from silicon has surpassed that from steel. And human history is entering a new period, the Silicon Age.
Silicon is the most common material on the earth, and many kinds of stones are composed of silicon dioxide. However, integrated circuits manufactured with the silicon material through hundreds of procedures are worth thousands of dollars. The process of turning stones into silicon chips is indeed a miracle of modern science. Semiconductor devices made by silicon, like memory devices, logic devices, microprocessors, optical devices, and sensors, provide close services everywhere in our life, such as in televisions, telephones, computers, refrigerators, airplanes, cars, satellites, etc.