A consortium of 31 European electronics companies spanning packaging, optics, photonics, equipment and testing is aiming to spur growth of the European semiconductor value chain through a three-year project to build new tools, methods and processes for high-volume manufacturing. The project is designed to drive higher market share of the partner companies through their adoption of new technologies developed during the initiative while giving them access to new market segments. Nearly half the companies are SEMI members.
Dubbed Advanced Packaging for Photonics, Optics and Electronics for Low-Cost Manufacturing in Europe, the project focuses on shortening time-to-market of new products by speeding the adoption of new technologies by European microelectronics manufacturers. The project – APPLAUSE, for short – receives funding from the Electronics Components and Systems for European Leadership Joint Undertaking (ECSEL JU). APPLAUSE is co-funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program, national funding agencies and the partners themselves. Total budget is 34M€.
APPLAUSE consists of 12 large enterprises, 11 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and eight research and technology organisations from 11 countries.
“APPLAUSE will focus on advanced optics, photonics and electronics packaging for multimodal sensing systems,” said Pieter Vandewalle, general manager of ICOS Vision Systems N.V., a Belgium division of KLA Corporation that is coordinating the project, at the initiative’s kickoff meeting earlier this year. “In particular, the results from R&D focused on process and process control equipment are expected to enable future high-volume manufacturing. The technologies will be piloted in six use cases, each with an industrial end user.”
Use cases include:
- A substantially smaller 3D integrated ambient light sensor for mobile and wearable applications (ams AG, Austria)
- A high-performance, low-cost, uncooled thermal IR sensor for automotive and surveillance applications (IDEAS, Norway)
- High-speed datacom transceivers with lower manufacturing costs (DustPhotonics, Israel)
- A flexible cardiac monitoring patch (Precordior, Finland)
- Miniaturized cardiac implants with advanced monitoring capabilities (Cardiaccs, Norway)
- An optical water measurement module with cost-effective packaging of components (Vaisala, FinIand).
“This collaborative project sharpens the competitive edge of component and systems development in Europe,” said Paula Pennanen, project manager at Spinverse. “APPLAUSE will develop new capabilities and match them to the future needs of European industries to accelerate the manufacturing uptake of new technologies and shorten time-to-market.”
The strategic, high-level objectives of APPLAUSE include:
- Developing new tools, methods, and processes for automated mass manufacturing and advanced packaging for the semiconductor, optics and photonics industries
- Bringing advanced packaging and high-volume manufacturing concepts to optics and photonics through six industrial use cases
- Increasing the competitiveness and global market share of the European semiconductor industry, especially the manufacturing equipment, packaging and assembly segments
APPLAUSE received funding from the ECSEL JU under grant agreement No 826588. The JU receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme as well as Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Finland, Austria, France, Hungary, Latvia, Norway, Switzerland and Israel.
About ECSEL JU
The “Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership” (ECSEL) is a Joint Undertaking established in June 2014 by the European Union Council Regulation No 561/2014. The ECSEL Joint Undertaking - the Public-Private Partnership for Electronic Components and Systems – funds Research, Development and Innovation projects for world-class expertise in these key enabling technologies, essential for Europe's competitive leadership in the era of the digital economy. Through the ECSEL JU, the European industry, SMEs and Research and Technology Organisations are supported and co-financed by 30 ECSEL Participating States and the European Union. A total of approximately 346M€ European and national grants have been awarded to proposals with total eligible costs of about 748M€ arising from the ECSEL JU, another step forward in the 5B€ programme to be supported by ECSEL JU.
Read more about the ECSEL JU programme.
Moritz Stoerring is R&D relations manager for the ICOS division at KLA.