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Novel R&D centers help boost sci-tech development in Zhangjiagang

(chinadaily.com.cn )


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Eleven out of 12 novel research and development (R&D) centers have started operations in Zhangjiagang, with the last one expected to be completed this year, local media reported April 22.

The centers are focused on the city’s key industries, such as metallurgy, new materials and new energy, and have played a significant role in helping the city form comprehensive sci-tech industrial chains.

For example, the Zhangjiagang branch of Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences recently established a laboratory for the testing and analysis of epitaxial materials of semiconductors, filling a gap in the city’s cutting-edge R&D testing platform.

"Previously, semiconductor producers in Zhangjiagang had to send their new samples to Shanghai, Suzhou or Nantong for testing, greatly hindering the pace of product upgrades," said a spokesperson for CorEnergy Semiconductor Co. "The new lab has solved that problem."

Over the past month of trial operations, the lab has established partnerships with more than 10 local semiconductor companies.

To give full play to the lab, the institute decided to introduce several public R&D production lines for epitaxial chips made of indium phosphide, silicon carbide and gallium nitride.

"Due to a monopoly of overseas companies, domestic semiconductor producers currently have to import high-quality epitaxial chips," said Zhu Jie, a spokesperson for the institute.

"We aim to build a technological platform to provide the most advanced R&D outsourcing services for downstream firms. It will start operations in June and the annual output will be valued at more than 100 million yuan ($14.5 million)."

To complete the semiconductor industrial chain, Zhangjiagang has also set up an industrial promotion center for the integrated circuit (IC) sector, which will specialize in intellectual property (IP) trade related to semiconductors.

"We mainly provide IP authorization services for the design of semiconductors and IC in Zhangjiagang," said Guo Hongyi, director of the center.

"We are also capable of offering failure analysis and reliability verification on later processes for 300 companies."

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