2018 Edition. In Engineer of the Year
Gill Fountain, received his BS in Electrical Engineering at North Carolina State University 1980 and his MSEE in 1982 studying Deep Level Transient Spectroscopy. As a process engineer at Research Triangle Institute from 1982-2000 he focused on plasma processes and primarily worked in compound semiconductors. As a cofounder of Ziptronix from 2000-2015, he was known as the engineer who could bring the magic to the lab. If you visit the original Ziptronix Lab, you are sure to find more than 10 pieces of equipment designed and built by Gill. The Gillco brand equipment is known for its robust, repeatable performance. Since 2015, Gill has been our Zip guru at Xperi and we continue to learn from and with him as we extend the DBI technology to new market applications. Gill embodies the definition of a humble process engineer that you want on your team. He uses his extensive education and working experience to seek a fundamental understanding that drives the process optimization. His success as an engineer is a tribute to his creative acumen mixed with a clever practical approach.
One of his recent significant contribution at Xperi was expanding the chemical mechanical polishing process window for Cu damascene from relatively fine features. His team developed a process that delivers uniform, smooth Cu/Ta/Oxide surfaces with a controlled Cu recess with very small variance across wafer sizes. He has been an integral part of Xperi's technical team and his work allows the electronics industry to apply direct bond interconnect (DBI) for high volume die to wafer applications.