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SwissChips Initiative to boost Swiss chip industry


The SwissChips Initiative, spearheaded by CSEM, EPFL, and ETH Zurich, promises advancements in design and production, catapulting Switzerland to the forefront of the global semiconductor arena.

By fostering collaboration between academia and industry, the initiative aims to drive innovation and economic growth.

The SwissChips Initiative is a collaborative effort launched by CSEM, EPFL, and ETH Zurich, with support from various Swiss and European research entities, semiconductor associations, and industrial partners. This initiative is supported by the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI). Inspired by the US and European Chips Acts, this act aims to enhance the Swiss semiconductor sector by promoting cutting-edge research in integrated circuit (IC) design. The initiative covers a wide range of domains such as: Computing System on Chips (SoCs), 6G Communications, Space Electronics and Photonics, SoCs for Autonomous IoT Devices, Chips for EDGE AI, Biomedical Circuits and Systems, and Devices and Sensors.

ETH Zurich coordinates the program, with all three founding institutions taking leading roles in their respective research areas. These efforts are designed to bolster microelectronics and IC design research, innovation, development, and businesses, ensuring Swiss academic institutions have access to cutting-edge manufacturing and design technologies. Additionally, the initiative aims to foster the Swiss semiconductor, microelectronics, and IC design ecosystem, developing robust synergies among research institutions.


The program involves PhD and Postdoc researchers, as well as the existing engineering and research staff of the participating institutions, who will push the boundaries of IC design. This concerted effort will not only enhance Switzerland's influence in the semiconductor industry during the post-Global Chip Shortage era of 2020-2023 but also ensure the development of infrastructure and technologies that benefit all scientific domains. This includes making advancements accessible to Swiss universities and universities of applied sciences, thereby nurturing a holistic growth in the semiconductor, microelectronics, and IC design sectors.

The program is a transitional measure, that will run from 2024 to 2026, with a total budget of 33.8 million Swiss francs. Of this amount, 26 million Swiss francs comes from SERI, and the remaining 7.8 million Swiss francs from the combined efforts of CSEM, EPFL, and ETH Zurich. Through this investment, the SwissChips Initiative aims to secure Switzerland's role in the ongoing semiconductor transition, ensuring a sustainable impact on research, innovation, and industry collaboration within the nation's flourishing semiconductor and microelectronics ecosystem.

The program is organized into several work packages (WP), in which CSEM plays an active role. CSEM also leads or co-leads the following packages:

• WP3: 6G Communications

• WP5: SoCs for Autonomous IoT Devices

• WP6: Chips for Edge AI

• WP7: Biomedical Circuits and Systems

SwissChips Initiative to boost Swiss chip industry
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