CEA-Leti Annual Review: The heart of Europe’s semiconductor industry challenges

by Hughes Metras, U.S. development, Leti

June 28, 2011 – Leti CEO Laurent Malier opened CEA-Leti’s 13th Annual Review in Grenoble, France, on Monday by noting the important role that research and technology organizations (RTOs) should play in strengthening industry in Europe. Unlike other regions (such as the US) where applied R&D depends mostly on individual companies and industry alliances, Europe counts several of such organizations — including Leti, Liten, Fraunhofer Mikroelektronik, CSEM, VTT, TNO, imec, and Sintef — which are assets for industry that support innovation through private/public partnerships.

Beyond continuing investment in CMOS technology and lithography, Leti has taken a leading position in 3D technology. After having transferred the first technology in production in 2009, Leti has opened a full 300mm prototyping line capable of running all key process steps from wafer bonding to elaborations of interconnections.

Over the past two years, Leti has built strategic R&D partnerships with most of France’s chipmakers to help them meet an increasingly competitive global business and technology environment. Similarly, this model of technology platform and pilot lines is proposed by the High-level Group for Key Enabling Technologies launched in 2010 by the European Commission.

Malier explained the valuable link between nanotechnologies and applications, which has allowed Leti to launch 40 startups over the past 20 years, as well as to explore an innovative path in sectors such as medicine and healthcare. He noted a new initiative created in 2010 to accelerate innovation in medicine — Clinatec, which will open this year, will gather physicians, biologists, and technologists to develop healing protocols for brain and nerve diseases.


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