The EU Commission officially inaugurated the Chips Joint Undertaking Thursday, to boost Europe’s semiconductor sector by bridging the gap between research, innovation and production. The Chips Joint Undertaking is designed to bridge the gap between research, innovation and production thereby facilitating the commercialisation of innovative ideas. The Chips JU will, among others, deploy pilot lines for which the Commission has announced the first call with €1.67 billion of EU funding. This is expected to be matched by funds from Member States to reach €3.3 billion, plus additional private funds.

The Chips JU is the main implementer of the Chips for Europe Initiative (expected total budget €15.8 billion until 2030). The Chips JU aims at strengthening Europe’s semiconductor ecosystem and economic security by managing an expected budget of nearly €11 billion by 2030, provided by the EU and participating states.

The Chips JU will:

  • Set up pre-commercial, innovative pilot lines, providing industry state-of-the-art facilities to test, experiment and validate semiconductor technologies and system design concepts;
  • Deploy a cloud-based Design Platform for design companies across the EU;
  • Support the development of advanced technology and engineering capacities for quantum chips;
  • Establish a network of competence centres and promote skills development.

To launch its first calls for innovative pilot lines, the Chips JU is making €1.67 billion in EU funding available. The calls are open to organisations that wish to establish pilot lines in Member States, typically research and technology organisations, calling for proposals on:

  • Fully Depleted Silicon on Insulator, towards 7 nm: This transistor architecture is a European innovation and has distinct advantages for high-speed and energy-efficient applications. A roadmap towards 7 nm will provide a path towards the next generation of high-performance, low-power semiconductor devices.
  • Leading-edge nodes below 2 nm: This pilot line will focus on developing cutting-edge technology for advanced semiconductors at the size of 2 nanometres and below, which will play essential roles in a variety of applications, from computing to communication devices, transport systems and critical infrastructure.
  • Heterogeneous system integration and assembly: Heterogeneous integration is an increasingly attractive technology for innovation and increased performance. It refers to the use of advanced packaging technologies and novel techniques to combine semiconductor materials, circuits or components into one compact system.

Wide Bandgap semiconductors: The focus will be on materials that allow electronic devices to operate at much higher voltage, frequency and temperature than standard silicon-based devices. Wide bandgap and ultra-wide bandgap semiconductors are necessary to develop highly efficient power, lighter weight, lower costs and radio-frequency electronics. The deadline for the calls for these pilot lines is early March 2024.

Source: EUbusiness

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