Research Fab Microelectronics Germany

To reinforce the position of Europe’s semiconductor and electronics industry to face global competition, eleven institutes within the Fraunhofer Group for Microelectronics havejoined forces with the Leibniz Institute for Innovations for High Performance Microelectronics (IHP) and the Ferdinand-Braun-Institut, Leibniz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik (FBH). On April 6, they together kicked off a cross-location research factory for micro- and nanoelectronics.

The concept for the research fab wasdeveloped jointly by Fraunhofer and Leibniz in order to combine their skills in a common technology pool. For the modernization and extension of their infrastructure the 13 research facilities are funded with ca. 350 million euros by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

The focus of the cross-institute work will lie on four future-relevant areas of technology. Having a knowledge edge in these areas is one of the basic prerequisites for important areas of application and will provide Germany and Europe with the necessary clout among international competition:

The research fab is organized in four technology parks in order to facilitate prompt and efficient promotion of the key technological topics:

  • Technology Park 1: The latest "Silicon-based Technologies" for sensor technology, actuation systems, and information processing technology
  • Technology Park 2: "Compound Semiconductors" with modern materials for power-saving and communications technology
  • Technology Park 3: "Heterointegration" – the latest combinations of silicon and other semiconductors; for example for the Internet of Things
  • Technology Park 4: "Design, Test and Reliability" for design and design methods, quality, and security

 

Fraunhofer EMFT contributes with its expertise to the activities in technology parks 1, 2 and 4. Major investments are planned for modernization and expansion of the technological infrastructure.

Silicon-based Technologies

Integrating new material systems for MEMS and NEMS sensors and actuators and combining them with CMOS processes is one of the technology park’s focuses. These technologies allow, in particular, the development and pilot manufacture of intelligent sensor nodes, cyber-physical systems, and hardware-oriented Industrial Internet-of-Things solutions.

Heterointegration

In the “Heterointegration” technology park, the devices and components are merged to form prototypes of multifunctional (sub-) systems by use of innovative processes and detailed implementation. This is already taking place at the wafer level (200 mm / 300 mm) in 2D and 3D and at the panel level (large-surface organic systems carrier) and includes various miniaturization strategies (e.g. embedding and micro- and nano-contacting).

Design, Test and Reliability

The ever-increasing complexity of microelectronic systems and their penetration of our working worlds and personal lives demand that we pay particular attention to the reliability of these systems. At the same time, requirements with regard to energy efficiency, power, and the construction size of the systems must be taken into account. To this end – particularly with regard to the forward-looking semiconductors being developed in the other three technology parks – both innovative design environments and processes and powerful ways of characterizing and testing the systems are essential.