CEA-Leti extends 300mm wafer line to open new R&D avenues for industrial partners

At the IEEE’s 64th International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM 2018) in San Francisco, CA, USA (1-5 December), micro/nanotechnology R&D center CEA-Leti of Grenoble, France has announced an extension of its 300mm silicon-based wafer line to open new R&D avenues for its industrial partners. The extension will allow new technological modules to be inserted in, or made compatible with, industrial flows up to completely pioneered technology routes that enable edge-AI (artificial intelligence) and high-performance computing (HPC) in memory, photonics, power electronics and other high-end applications.

CEA-Leti’s 300mm wafer-line extension aims to accelerate innovation projects with fab partners using 300mm wafers. Targeted technological routes and related applications include:

– memory: phase-change RAM (PCRAM), oxide-based resistive memory (OxRAM) and conductive-bridging RAM (CBRAM);
vertical image sensors;
photonics: III-V on silicon, integrated photonics;
– power electronics: insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs);
– HPC and edge AI: FD-SOI (fully depleted silicon-on-insulator) and derivatives, such as sequential stacking and Si qbits for quantum computing;
– 3D wafer-to-wafer or die-to-wafer bonding, hybrid bonding: substrates and layer transfer for advanced substrates in collaboration with Soitec.

CEA-Leti’s advanced CMOS strategy targets FD-SOI research through the development of modules to the economic and technological limits of scaling, and complements the extension of the 300mm platform for edge-AI applications, analog applications, RF and power electronics.

The strategy is based on a mix of priorities of CEA-Leti’s partners and its researchers’ ideas that pioneer enabling technologies to address societal challenges. These include cloud and edge computation, high-volume communication, multi-modality interaction and energy conservation. Leti says it is executing the strategy with its fully implemented technology, from beginning to end with module-level innovations, such as insulation or back-end copper, as well as devices and their architectures.

Our 300mm line will help Leti continue this strategy by accessing dimensions that make it possible to address the pressing challenges associated with emerging technologies, such as quantum, nanowires and sequential 3D integration,” says CEA-Leti’s CEO Emmanuel Sabonnadière. “CEA-Leti’s industrial partners are now able to develop or test their disruptive technologies and their designs on state-of-the-art equipment, while benefiting from the institute’s R&D expertise, to achieve improved component performance, direct comparison with the ecosystem and easier technology transfers from lab to fab.”

Implementation of the 300mm line is enabled by the Auvergne Rhone Alpes region financing the acquisition of a 193nm-wavelength immersion lithography tool, which is the cornerstone of the investment plan (2017-2018). CEA-Leti has also benefited from financial support from the French government for the second phase of the plan (2018-2019).