Thomas Zarbock

Head of Fabrication department

Fraunhofer IPMS

Applied R&D vs. Automation – Contradiction or Opportunity?

The Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems IPMS is one of the leading organisations for research, development and the pilot manufacturing of Photonic Microsystems. During the past 3 years, IPMS has transitioned its class ISO4 MEMS-on-CMOS cleanroom from 150mm towards 200mm wafer technology.

Using the 30 million Euro EFRE funded investment for standardization approaches purchasing state-of-the-art semiconductor equipment, IPMS has extended its capability to cooperate with industry and other partners in the More-than-Moore ecosystem of Silicon Saxony, the Fraunhofer microelectronics community and beyond. Being limited at currently 1.500m² of clean room space, IPMS considered investing into wafer storage capabilities. During the public tender process started in early 2017, Fabmatics applied with the superior concept of a zero footprint buffer approach.

After winning the tender, Fabmatics pushed a reengineering project to fit its 1st generation wafer stocker into IPMS’ cleanroom environment by further optimizing both dimensions as well as the linear driving principle of the system. Resulting in the FlatStocker 2.0, Fabmatics enabled IPMS to safely and reliably store approx. 1/4 of its WIP beyond valuable cleanroom space by additionally providing other advantages like traceability, search time reduction and failure prevention. As an implicit highlight, the FlatStocker 2.0 project has been mutually conducted under the umbrella of the ADMONT project.

  • Master in Industrial Engineering (HTW Dresden)
  • 1998: Master Thesis (Whiteoak Semiconductor)
  • 1998 – 2003: Production Planning, SIMEC & Infineon Technologies Dresden
  • 2003 – 2008: Industrial Engineer, Infineon & Qimonda Dresden, Richmond & Inotera
  • 2008 – 2010: Section Manager Maintenance & Equipment Engineering, Qimonda Dresden
  • 2010 – 2011: Change Agent & Project Manager, Fraunhofer IPMS Dresden
  • Since 2011: Head of Fabrication Department & Program Manager for 200mm fab extension, Fraunhofer IPMS Dresden