Speeding innovation for industry
12 inches nanoelectronics
Leti has long-standing partnerships with a number of semiconductor companies. These partners have encouraged the institute to expand its 300 mm R&D capabilities so that they can sharpen their focus on production. Not only must Leti be a source of innovation for its partners, it will now have to be able to handle high-added-value process steps and see developments through to the sample and short-run prototyping stages. To reach this goal, the institute kicked off a program to purchase 35 pieces of new equipment in 2017. Half of the planned purchases have been completed, and the equipment has been installed and tested.
The new state-of-the-art lithography equipment includes a 193 nm immersion scanner that will bring Leti's capabilities to never-before-seen levels of precision, and the associated metrology unit. Other new purchases will be used primarily for projects with STMicroelectronics (such as the development of new generations of imagers) and Soitec (new SOI RF substrate development). The list also includes more generic equipment.
In the future, the Leti will be able to test its innovations in-house on equipment identical to that used by its partners, which should make transferring new technologies from lab to fab faster and more efficient. Leti startups will also have access to the equipment to build their 300 mm demonstrators. The equipment is also expected to be a draw for new international customers, who will add a new dimension to the local tech ecosystem.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.