CEA-Leti Announces Launch of FAMES Pilot Line to Advance Semiconductor Tech in Europe

June 25, 2024

GRENOBLE, France, June 25, 2024 — CEA-Leti has announced the launch of the FAMES Pilot Line, a major project aimed at advancing semiconductor technologies in Europe.

This €830 million (~US$888.9 million) initiative aligns with the EU Chips Act’s ambition to bolster EU semiconductor capabilities and ensure technological sovereignty.

The pilot line will develop five new sets of technologies:

  • FD-SOI with two new generation nodes at 10nm and 7nm
  • Embedded non-volatile memories including OxRAM, FeRAM, MRAM, and FeFETs
  • Radio-frequency components like switches, filters, and capacitors
  • Two 3D integration options: heterogeneous and sequential integration
  • Small inductors for developing DC-DC converters for Power Management Integrated Circuits (PMIC)

FD-SOI, invented by CEA-Leti, is a planar CMOS technology that offers superior performance, power, area, cost, and environmental impact for mixed circuits, including digital, analogue, and radio-frequency blocks. It has been adopted by global semiconductor leaders due to its tight electrostatic control at the transistor level and its suitability for innovative power-management technologies.

The FD-SOI market is anticipating the next-generation nodes at 10nm and 7nm.

Forty-three companies from the electronic-systems value chain, including materials providers, equipment manufacturers, fabless companies, EDAs, IDMs, system houses, and end-users from ITC, automotive, medical device, space, and security markets, have expressed their support for the FAMES initiative. This support signals the emergence of a vibrant ecosystem of start-ups, SMEs, and global industry leaders.

“By integrating and combining a set of cutting-edge technologies, the FAMES Pilot Line will open the door to disruptive system-on-chip architectures and provide smarter, greener and more efficient solutions for future chips. The FAMES project will indeed pay special attention to semiconductor sustainability challenges,” said Jean-René Lèquepeys, CTO of CEA-Leti.

“The Chips Joint Undertaking (Chips JU) is proud to contribute to this strategic initiative and strengthen the EU’s sovereignty in a critical domain,” said Jari Kinaret, the Chips JU executive director. “This pilot line will advance essential semiconductor technologies, while maintaining a strong focus on sustainability, and foster the collaboration between several European actors. The Chips JU aims to act as a catalyst and a model for further public and private collaborations in key areas.”

The FAMES Consortium includes:

  • CEA-Leti (France)
  • imec (Belgium)
  • Fraunhofer Mikroelektronik (Germany)
  • Tyndall (Ireland)
  • VTT (Finland)
  • CEZAMAT WUT (Poland)
  • UCLouvain (Belgium)
  • Silicon Austria Labs (Austria)
  • SiNANO Institute (France)
  • Grenoble INP-UGA (France)
  • University of Granada (Spain)

The new technologies will create market opportunities for low-power microcontrollers (MCUs), multi-processor units (MPUs), AI and machine learning devices, smart data-fusion processors, RF devices, 5G/6G chips, automotive market chips, smart sensors and imagers, trusted chips, and new space components.

The pilot line will be accessible to all EU stakeholders, including universities, RTOs, SMEs, and industrial companies, as well as like-minded countries through annual open calls and upon request, following a fair and non-discriminatory selection process.

The project will receive a total of €830 million in funding, provided equally by participating member states and the Chips JU.

The kick-off meeting is being held today at CEA-Leti’s headquarters in Grenoble, preceding the start of Leti Innovation Days from June 25-27.

For more information about the FAMES partners, visit here.

About CEA-Leti

Leti, a technology research institute at CEA, is a global leader in miniaturization technologies enabling smart, energy-efficient and secure solutions for industry. Founded in 1967, CEA-Leti pioneers micro-& nanotechnologies, tailoring differentiating applicative solutions for global companies, SMEs and startups. CEA-Leti tackles critical challenges in healthcare, energy and digital migration. From sensors to data processing and computing solutions, CEA-Leti’s  multidisciplinary teams deliver solid expertise, leveraging world-class pre-industrialization facilities. With a staff of more than 1,900, a portfolio of 3,200 patents, 11,000 sq. meters of cleanroom space and a clear IP policy, the institute is based in Grenoble, France, and has offices in Silicon Valley and Tokyo. CEA-Leti has launched 76 startups and is a member of the Carnot Institutes network.


Source: CEA-Leti

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