Spotlight On: The Center for High Performance Systems Lab
The Center for High Performance Systems Lab (CHiPS) here at Texas State University-San Marcos in the Roy F. Mitte building provides students and faculty the opportunity to stay cur-rent with industry production needs with a vast array of tools at their disposal. The lab is run by Dr. Jesus Jimenez who says the mission of the CHiPS lab is “to assist and enable Manufactur-ing & Service organizations of Central Texas and beyond to achieve higher levels of productiv-ity & performance, global competitive edge, and customer satisfaction through simulation modeling and analysis, operations research and statistics.” 1 To assist in this mission, CHiPS has been awarded funds from International SEMATECH Manufacturing Initiative (ISMI), Applied Materials, Flextronics, Simio L.C., and the Lanner Group. Most recently, in June 2010 the In-gram School of Engineering was awarded a gift-in-kind donation of over $300,000 from the Lanner Group. Their award-winning WITNESS software will be taught in Fall 2010 undergraduate engineering courses. Dr. Jimenez plans for the software to “be used by students in real-world projects with area companies.” The lab also received a $99,000 grant-in-kind from Simio LLC in support of simulation teaching and research for both students and faculty.
“The faculty at Texas State is committed to providing the best environment for their students to learn simulation,” said Simio founder Dennis Pegden. “We are honored to provide them with the best software available to teach their students."3
According to Dr. Jimenez “One of the largest projects at CHiPS is called the „Next Generation Semiconductor Wafer Fab Characterization‟. Sponsored by ISMI – a consortium of leading semiconductor manufac-turers – this project comprises the simulation modeling and analysis for small wafer lot manufacturing, with an emphasis on the impact of smaller wafer manufacturing on the Automated Material Handling Sys-tems (AMHS). This project has provided eight undergraduate students and one faculty member from the Ingram School of Engineering with the best learning experience in simulation modeling and analysis of wa-fer fabs. Project participants have gained a significant understanding of the critical issues and challenges that the semiconductor manufacturing industry will face. This unique research experience was enriched by interactions of the participants with ISMI member companies, such as Global Foundries and IBM.”2 Other software and tools featured in the lab include Arena, AutoMod, AutoSched AP, ILOG CPlex, Design Expert, and MiniTab.
Students Charitha Adikaram , Michael Bell, Alger Bradley, Dineshkumar Arivalagan, Leanna Miller, and Saul Villarreal are currently working in the lab gaining valuable industry ex-perience. According to Michael Bell, “Working in the lab has given me insight to the semicon-ductor industry and exposed me to the terminology, lingo and topics that are currently being addressed in the field.” He starts a new internship with Applied Materials, a semiconductor equipment producer, this summer, “I received this internship through the CHIPS lab and net-working in the school.”
1 Jesus Jimenez. 2010.
2 Jesus Jimenez. 2010. Center of High Performance Systems at Texas State Characterizes the Next Generation of Industrial Production and Logistic Systems.
3 TC Sprencel. Simio grant boosts advanced simulation projects in engineering. March 25, 2010. University News Service.