C3NiT has a leading role in European Chips Act

Many in Europe have been eagerly awaiting the results of the first calls in the European Chips Act for pilot lines, with the aim to enhance existing and develop new advanced pilot lines across the Union to enable development and deployment of cutting-edge semiconductor technologies and next-generation semiconductor technologies.

The C3NiT research groups at Linköping, Chalmers and Lund University also have a stake in the call and we were very happy when the Chips JU announced that the Public Authories Board approved all four pilot line proposals.

Vanya Darakchieva will lead the Work-package on III- N radiofrequency and power device technologies of the Wide Bandgap pilot-line. The total budget of the three universities will comprise a total effort of over 16 M€ over 5 years.

“It is a great honour to be internationally recognized for our leading role in research on wide-bandgap materials for power electronics. We are happy and eager to work together with European partners and industries for establishing a resilient wide band gap semiconductors ecosystem” says Vanya Darakchieva.

For the research groups in C3NiT, the contribution to the Wide Bandgap pilot line is based on the equipment available in the three cleanroom labs as well as expertise in III-Nitride and gallium oxide materials synthesis and characterization. The III-Nitride activities are focussed on the developments of state-of-the-art epitaxy, radio-frequency and power HEMTs and FinFETS. The target applications for power devices include smart grid, electric train traction, wind turbines, power components for propulsion and charging of electric vehicles. The III-nitrides rf electronic devices target power generation and amplification at high frequencies above 100 GHz for future wireless communication infrastructure, and for transmitters as well as rugged and linear receivers for surveillance and security systems.

Through the industrial collaboration within C3NiT the pathway to innovation where these technologies lead to an actual benefit in society is facilitated.

The EU Chips act is a key step for the EU’s technological sovereignty and an investment of close to 11 billion € in Europe’s competitiveness and resilience in semiconductor technologies and applications and help to achieve both the digital and green transition. In force since 13 September 2023, one of its first actions focussed on advanced pilot lines.

The proposal is coordinated by the Italian National Research Council (CNR) and includes partners from France, Poland, Finland, Germany, Austria and Sweden.

Short Facts – Pilot lines
Their purpose is process development, test and experimentation, as well as small-scale production. In practise, the pilot line will be a distributed infrastructure with local nodes that are specialized on specific processes within the semiconductor value chain. In this case for example, the Polish partners are producing some of the bulk materials, the Swedish partners are developing SiC bipolar and GaN radiofrequency and power device technologies, the Finnish partners are responsible for packaging and integration. Guidance for external users on how to work with this process flow will be provided.