Abu Dhabi has signed an agreement with the Teaching institute Singapore Polytechnic where their wafer fab workers will be trained by the latter. About 50 people will be trained in this program. This is a strategy for Abu Dhabi to build capability after they acquired majority stake in Globalfoundries Inc through their Advanced Technology Investment Co. (ATIC). ATIC and Globalfoundries hope to invest more than $7 billion to build a wafer fab in the oil rich nation.
This is certainly a challenge to Africa where there is no single micro-fabrication facility. From South Africa to Nigeria, Africa has no clean room. With all the buzz about the advancement in social media, Africa is yet to get to the core of the technology that is driving the innovation age.
African Union should consider location of a foundry as a strategic investment for future prosperity and competitiveness of the continent.
What is wafer fabrication
It is a procedure composed of many repeated sequential processes to produce complete electrical or photonic circuits. Examples include production of radio frequency (RF) amplifiers, LEDs, optical computer components, and CPUs for computers. Wafer fabrication is used to build components with the necessary electrical structures.
The main process begins with electrical engineers designing the circuit and defining its functions, and specifying the signals, inputs, outputs and voltages needed. These electrical circuit specifications are entered into electrical circuit design software, such as SPICE, and then imported into circuit layout programs, which are similar to ones used for computer aided design. This is necessary for the layers to be defined for wafer mask production. The resolution of the circuits increases rapidly with each step in design, as the scale of the circuits at the start of the design process is already being measured in fractions of micrometers. Each step thus increases circuit density for a given area. (wikipedia)