The European Commission NANOCMOS project began March 1, 2004, to push the semiconductor industry to 45nm production and beyond. The first phase is for 27months up to June 2006. The next phase will need European Commission and MEDEA+ approval and calls for participation are expected to begin in mid-2005 for a start in 2006.
Matsushita Electric Industrial (MEI) has joined IMEC’s sub-45nm research platform as a core partner. In 2003, the European research centre launched the centralised research platform to develop sub-45nm process technologies in line with the semiconductor technology roadmap. This research platform is designed to allow companies to collaborate during the research phase and reduce individual risk and costs, while deriving results more quickly by working together in a state-of-the-art facility. The research targets technology generations two to three nodes ahead of state-of-the-art IC production.
Philips Electronics is to extend its access to IMEC’s research facilities and expertise until the end of 2008. Philips Research’s Leuven organisation plans further joint research with IMEC on specialised semiconductor processes and advanced CMOS technologies in preparation for continued process development with Philips’ Crolles2 Alliance partners, STMicroelectronics and Motorola.
Three labs (metrology, electronics and micro-engineering ) from the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland have jointly realised a device integrating both optics (waveguides, interferometer) and CMOS electronics on a silicon-on-insulator (SOI) substrate. Only one extra mask and etch process was need to produce the device.
The BAOBERLIN research group in Germany has invented a novel contact structure for electric II-VI semiconductor components such as blue-green laser diodes. The new structure is designed to significantly reduce the troublesome large contact resistance commonly hindering II-VI work.
PolyApply is a four-year research project launched by the European Commission under its 6th Research, Technological development and Demonstration Framework Programme. The aim is to lay the foundations of a scalable and ubiquitously applicable communication technology that will make ‘ambient intelligence’ commercially viable through the use of low-cost, polymer-based electronic circuits.
PVA TePla’s Crystal Growing Systems division has successfully implemented the first commercially available production vertical gradient freeze (VGF) crystal growing system at Freiberger Compound Materials (FCM), a leading manufacturer of gallium arsenide and other compound semiconductor wafers.
ASM International has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire NuTool, owner of the patented Electrochemical Mechanical Deposition (ECMD) copper deposition technology. ECMD is early in its development but is expected to grow substantially over the coming years.
A French company has developed a process to manufacture very large area flexible displays assembled from carbon nanotube-based microCRTs (miniature cathode ray tubes) mounted on a flexible polymer substrate. The company - working through the Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie de Paris - is now looking for manufacturing, technical and licensing alliances. A prototype/demonstrator is available for testing.
Philips Research has developed a variable-focus lens system that mimics the action of the human eye. The technology is to be demonstrated at this year’s CeBIT Exhibition in Hannover, Germany (March 18-24, 2004).
austriamicrosystems signed a development contract for the design and supply of an ultra-low power heart-rate receiver application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) for POLAR Electro, a Finnish producer of heart-rate monitors (HRMs).
Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography sources have reached 20% of the power that will be needed for commercial high-volume systems, according to presentations at an International SEMATECH (ISMT) workshop. Progress in the three areas of source power, debris mitigation and longer collector lifetimes was demonstrated at the ISMT-sponsored workshop.
Bookham Technology and Colibrys have jointly established MEMS design and fabrication processes for variable optical attenuator (VOA) modules in a complementary relationship. VOAs are used in the optical networking industry.
Bookham Technology and Colibrys have jointly established micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) design and fabrication processes for variable optical attenuator (VOA) modules in a complementary relationship. VOAs are used in the optical networking industry.
SIGMA-C has updated its lithography simulation software for immersion. SOLID-C 6.4 now focuses on technical obstacles that hinder the adoption of immersion lithography. This is achieved by expanding the capability to simulate arbitrary polarisation in source, projector and mask to mitigate the so-called "hyper-NA effects". Radial-, azimuthal- or even completely user-defined polarisation can be analysed.
The European Commission (EC) NaPa project on emerging nanopatterning methods aims at integrating top down miniaturisation and bottom-up self-assembly fabrication approaches. NaPa aims to build upon know-how acquired in different countries and in several projects funded within the EC Framework 5 (FP5) research structure.
International Rectifier has opened a research and design centre in Denmark for advanced high-reliability DC-to-DC converters and other power management solutions. IR Denmark ApS (IRD) is located in Skovlunde near Copenhagen.
Optoelectronic chipmaker Intense is expanding headcount and facilities at its UK semiconductor fabrication plant in Glasgow from 50 in late 2003 to 65 now. The company’s initial focus on the telecom sector has been broadened to markets such as printing and defence.
Intel Capital has made an equity investment in Italian optics manufacturer Media Lario International for the development of key optical components for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, due for commercialisation by 2009 (32nm node).
Corning Tropel announced commercial availability of an immersion micro-objective lens, the AquaCAT. This new lens assembly is aimed at extending 193nm lithography capabilities. In a Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) laboratory, site of the new product's first installation, an AquaCAT micro-objective recently yielded image resolution of less than 100nm.
Wacker’s Siltronic silicon wafer division has signed a license for Soitec's proprietary Smart Cut technology to produce silicon-on-insulator (SOI) and strained SOI wafers. A joint programme between the companies aims to accelerate the development of strained SOI wafers. Siltronic will be able to provide bonded SOI wafers based on Smart Cut in 2005.
SUSS MicroTec reports that it has delivered the world's first semi-automatic pressure chamber prober to their MEMUNITY partner DELTA (Danish Electronics Light and Acoustics). The PAP200 probes in a controlled environment from 1mbar vacuum up to 50bar - the pressure at 500m below sea level.
SUSS MicroTec’s French subsidiary has signed a joint development programme agreement with European microelectronics research centre IMEC on bonding technologies for micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) production.