From SUNY Poly via TimesUnion: “Chip equipment startup at SUNY Poly gains traction”


SUNY Polytechnic Institute



May 19, 2017
Larry Rulison

Photo: Neutral Physics Corp.

A new atom beam machine being installed at SUNY Poly in Albany for use in computer chip manufacturing.

A semiconductor manufacturing startup based at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Albany is thriving despite all of the upheaval lately at the school.

Neutral Physics Corp., a joint venture between Exogenesis Corp. and Sematech, the computer chip manufacturing consortium based at SUNY Poly, had its new atom beam “tool” delivered to one of SUNY Poly’s chip manufacturing clean rooms just this week to begin “alpha” testing.

Exogenesis, which is based outside Boston, announced the novel technology development venture with Sematech back in 2015, although it has received little attention since.

Both Exogenesis and Sematech are shareholders in the company, which is making an atomic particle accelerator that produces atomic-scale etchings onto the silicon wafers used to make computer chips.

Although Sematech recently dismissed its CEO and has scaled back its operations in recent years, Exogenesis CEO Richard Svrluga told the Times Union that his company’s partnership with Sematech and SUNY Poly has been extremely beneficial.

The startup just named a new CEO this month – former IBM executive R. “Jaga” Jagannathan – and recent had a “successful” round of Series A financing from outside investors, Svrluga said.

“Jaga has extensive experience in the semiconductor industry with much of that experience from his years at IBM,” Svrluga said.

The startup is also being aided by Sematech and Exogenesis executives who have been appointed to leadership roles.

Sematech has operated as a technology development consortium for the chip industry for most of its history dating back to the 1980s.

It hasn’t actually started new companies in the past, although the creation of tech startups is part of the mission of SUNY Poly, which moved Sematech to Albany from Austin, Texas about 10 years ago.

“Our goal is to build a successful business that will in turn generate good jobs for the region,” Svrluga said. “In general, we are feeling extremely positive about where (Neutral Physics Corp.) is at this point of its development. We also very much appreciate the support that we have always received from the staff at Sematech.”

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The State University of New York Polytechnic Institute, commonly referred to as SUNY Polytechnic Institute or SUNY Poly, is a public research university with campuses in the town of Marcy in the Utica-Rome metropolitan area and Albany, New York. Founded in 1966 using classrooms at a primary school, SUNY Poly is New York’s public polytechnic college. The Marcy campus, formerly the SUNY Institute of Technology, has a Utica, New York mailing address and was established in 1987. The Albany campus was formerly a component of the University at Albany, established in January 2003.

SUNY Poly is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The university offers over 30 bachelor’s degrees, 15 master’s degrees, and three doctoral degrees within five different colleges. SUNY Poly students come from across the state of New York, throughout the United States, and more than twenty other nations. More than 25,000 alumni enjoy successful careers in a wide range of fields.