To reinforce the position of Europe’s semiconductor and electronics industry beside global competition, eleven institutes within the Fraunhofer Group for Microelectronics have, together with the IHP GmbH - Innovations for High Performance Microelectronics and the Ferdinand-Braun-Institut, Leibniz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik, come up with a concept for a cross-location research factory for microelectronics and nanoelectronics. On April 6, 2017, this new form of cooperation got off the ground.
The concept for the research fab was designed jointly by Fraunhofer and Leibniz to combine their skills in a pool for technologies. For the modernization and extension of their equipment the 13 research facilities receive around 350 million euros from the 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:
- Technology Park 1: Silicon-based technologies for sensorics, actuatorics and information processing
- Technology Park 2: Compound semiconductors with leading-edge materials for energy-saving and communication technologies
- Technology Park 3: Heterointegration – neuartige combinations of silicon and other semiconductors, e.g. for the Internet of Things
- Technology Park 4: Design, Test and Reliability for design and design methods, quality and security
The institutes’ existing locations will be retained, while expansion and operation will be coordinated and organized in a shared business office. The aim is to be able to offer customers from large industry, small and medium enterprises, and universities the entire value chain for microelectronics and nanoelectronics in an uncomplicated manner and from a single supplier.
The establishment of the Research Fab Microelectronics Germany will be a unique offering available to the German and European semiconductor and electronics industry. The cooperation of a total of 13 research institutes and more than 2000 scientists is already the world’s largest pool for technologies and intellectual property rights within the area of smart systems. This new form of cooperation will make a major contribution to strengthening European industry’s competitiveness internationally.