At the forefront: European research on the next generation of 450 mm semiconductor wafers

Micro- and nanoelectronic components are manufactured onto silicon semiconductor wafers, the diameter of which has increased from just a few millimeters to 300 mm over the last few decades. With 300 mm wafers now well established, manufacturers around the world are taking the next step toward increasing productivity – making 450 mm wafers.

This will more than double the surface area available for components, significantly increasing yields and reducing manufacturing costs.

Reaching this goal will require considerable spending for research into not only the 450 mm wafer as such, but also for manufacturing equipment and handling robots. For German and European equipment/materials manufacturers, as well as for automation suppliers, now is the time to expand their internationally recognized expertise in this innovative field.

For this reason, a total of 27 European companies and international research facilities from the semiconductor, equipment and materials sectors have teamed up to collaborate in EEMI450 (European Equipment & Materials Initiative for 450 mm), a joint project aiming to secure 450 mm technology and expertise for Europe. ASM International will coordinate the entire European consortium.

Siltronic AG is responsible for coordinating the German part of this network, which comprises 10 members: AIXTRON AG, the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering (Fraunhofer IOF), Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Systems and Device Technology (Fraunhofer IISB), Mattson Thermal Products GmbH, NanoPhotonics GmbH, the PTB (Physikalisch Technische Bundesanstalt), PVA TePla AG, SemiQuarz GmbH, Siltronic AG and Vistec Electron Beam GmbH. Starting June 1, 2010, the partners have agreed to work on this project for a period of 21 months.

ENIAC (the European Nanoelectronics Initiative Advisory Council) sponsors the consortium at the EU level, whereas the BMBF supports the German members through its ICT 2020 (Information and Communication Technologies 2020) program. The mid-term goal of BMBF’s measures in this area is to strengthen and expand Germany’s competitive edge in research, manufacturing and employment. The entire European project pursues the same goals with regard to Europe’s standing as a semiconductor center.

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