Dresden kick-off for the "Research Fab Microelectronics Germany”

The eleven institutes of the Fraunhofer Group Microelectronics and two institutes of the Leibniz Association will invest 350 million euros in their research equipment to create new types of services and to network their technological know-how more closely in the "Research Fab Microelectronics Germany” (FMD), offering one-stop shopping for all locations. With this funding, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research aims to strengthen the innovative capacity of the semiconductor and electronics industry in Germany and Europe in global competition and is supporting the project with the largest investment in research equipment since reunification. 100.8 million euros of the Future Program will go to the four involved Fraunhofer Institutes from Saxony. Today, on Tuesday, August 8, 2017, they celebrated the official project start for the Saxon locations.

Dresden kick-off for the "Research Fab Microelectronics Germany”
© Fraunhofer IPMS
Dr. Eva-Maria Stange, Saxon Minister of Science, Stanislaw Tillich, Prime Minister of the Free State of Saxony, and Stefan Müller, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, with Prof. Hubert Lakner, Chairman of the Microelectronics Research Factory’s Steering Committee and Prof. Georg Rosenfeld, Member of the Executive Board of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft (l.t.r.) at the symbolic unveiling of the entrance sign at the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems in Dresden

With 200 guests from industry, politics and science, the work of the four Fraunhofer Institutes involved in the Research Fab Microelectronics Germany in the Free State of Saxony now officially begins. State Premier Stanislaw Tillich, Science Minister Dr. Eva-Maria Stange and Stefan Müller, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Education and Research, together with Prof. Georg Rosenfeld, member of the Executive Board of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, and the Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Microelectronics Research Factory, Prof. Hubert Lakner, unveiled a sign in front of the institute building at the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems.

"Microelectronics has system relevance," explained Prof. Rosenfeld. "Both established and new industries need them to master the digital future. With the Research Fab Microelectronics we are creating the necessary research equipment and making the new know-how available to industry. In this way, it contributes significantly to the technological sovereignty of Germany and Europe.

Stefan Müller emphasized that with the Research Fab Microelectronics, Germany, more than ever before,  will be in a position to advance its own developments in microelectronics. "Our future program allows the institutes to invest in the most modern, high-performance facilities, laboratory and equipment, and thus to offer internationally outstanding research services. In the research fab, we are bundling the research that is available nationwide into an excellent pool of know-how. In this way, we not only want to produce innovations in the field of microelectronics, but also make them available from a single source along the entire innovation chain. This way we are strengthening an important key industry, also with regard to technological sovereignty, jobs and the attractiveness of Germany as a business location".

State Premier Tillich emphasized Saxony's importance as a leading microelectronics location in Germany and Europe. In his welcoming address he said: "The research fab will give our microelectronics cluster a further boost. With an excellent research landscape, well-trained specialists and close links between industry and science, Saxony offers the best conditions for industry 4.0, efficient technology for the energy revolution and intelligent mobility to play a decisive role in shaping the key technology of microelectronics. We therefore support the Federal Government's initiative to further strengthen the Free State, Germany and Europe in international competition.

Science Minister Dr. Eva-Maria Stange recalled that this major investment is based on structures such as the "Functional Integration for Micro- and Nanoelectronics" performance center in Dresden/Chemnitz, which was created by the Free State of Saxony. "With a long preparatory work, Saxony has made the creation of the research fab microelectronics possible. At the Maria-Reiche-Strasse location alone, around 128 million euros of Structural Fund support has been invested in construction projects and initial equipment. I am very pleased that our joint investments in basic and applied research are now paying off in this way. The microelectronics research fab is proof of a long but very successful path", said the Minister.

Prof. Hubert Lakner used the example of the development of FD-SOI (Fully Depleted Silicon On Insulator) processes on 300 mm wafers to illustrate exactly what this dovetailing of expertise, which is currently distributed throughout the application-oriented microelectronics institutes, could look like at Fraunhofer. "With FMD, we can also offer the latest technologies along the entire value chain in the leading-edge technology area on 300 mm wafers, from design to technology modules to wafer level integration. We are thus creating an interesting offer for our industrial partners for the further development of such high-performance processes, in order to bring products to market with shorter innovation cycles, especially in the Internet-of-Things area. We would like to express our special thanks to the BMBF for these new opportunities".

The fact that excellent high-tech research in the immediate vicinity is a clear advantage of the location was confirmed by Dr. Rutger Wijburg, who represented the semiconductor and electronics industry at the kick-off event as Managing Director of Globalfoundries Dresden. "Globalfoundries has been working successfully with the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft for many years. The FMD investment provides further good opportunities to deepen and expand this cooperation. The focus will be on our FD-SOI technology, which is suitable for extremely energy-efficient IoT solutions. With the support of Fraunhofer, we intend to realize the potential of FD-SOI power saving technology in German and European markets from our base in Dresden".

In the four Fraunhofer Institutes involved in Saxony, namely the Fraunhofer Institutes IPMS, IIS EAS, and IZM with its All Silicon System Integration Dresden ASSID and ENAS, the approximately 100 million euros of funding will be used for a fundamental modernization and expansion of the existing research equipment. The most important areas of investment include equipment for the production of novel microsystems, leading edge CMOS processes on 300 mm wafers, 2.5/3D wafer level integration as well as equipment for circuit design, testing and reliability testing.

About FMD

With its investments in the "Research Fab Microelectronics Germany" and the framework program "Microelectronics from Germany - Innovation Drivers of Digitization", the BMBF is supporting research and innovation in microelectronics with a total of around 800 million euros up to 2020 as part of a package of measures to promote microelectronics in Germany which the Federal Government has launched. Microelectronics is a key technology for strategically important, strong industrial sectors such as mechanical and automotive engineering.

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