During his days at SMA pursuing his S.M. degree in the AMM&NS programme, Chen Zhen’s talents were already evident. His excellent academic performance clinched him the MIT Club Book Prize and IMRE Book Prize. In 2003, while working with the Technology Development Center of Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) in Shanghai, he was awarded the title of “Excellent Engineer” in 2003 for innovations he made in the field.
Certainly not one to rest on his laurels, Chen Zhen recognises the challenges that the constant development of the semiconductor industry poses to experienced senior engineers such as himself, whose main advantage lies in their on-the-job experience. For them to stay relevant in the ever-changing world, they must maintain the level of eagerness and flexibility of mind that fresh-faced junior engineers display towards learning, by constantly keeping abreast of the newest innovations.
The success of Chen Zhen’s philosophy is evident from his role in the forefront of innovation. After graduating from SMA in 2000, he began his career in the Institute of Microelectronics (IME) where he conducted research work on Cu back end of line (BEOL) technology, paying particular interest to Cu technology utilisation and characterisation in advanced RF application, while developing web-based intranet lot tracking system for WIP and processes management convenience as well as publishing 6 journal and conference papers.
He joined SMIC in 2002, where he attended technology development of 0.25um Logic baseline and 0.25~0.13um Mixed Signal/RF, and worked on aforementioned technologies’ customer projects development and yield enhancement, finally transferring these technologies to fab for manufacturing. During his stint there, he also published 3 journal and conference papers, and submitted 12 patent applications, of which 6 have been filed.
In 2004, he joined STMicroelectronics (Ang Mo Kio), a Semiconductor Integrated Device Manufacturer (IDM), where he now continues to work on transferring advanced non-volatile memory technology from European R&D centres to STMicroelectronics AMK8 (Ang Mo Kio 8’ fab) as well as perform on-site development for manufacturing.
In Chen Zhen’s own words: “A career in technology is just like a highway. When you are on it, you cannot stop or slow down. The only thing you can do is to accelerate or maintain speed by continuously improving and innovating.”