"Continual anti-IMEC sentiment deflects Europe from the real
competition," said Bryant who also argued in the report that IMEC's
leading global position in semiconductors meant that it and not CEA-Leti
should be entrusted with European research subsidies for chips.
That anti-IMEC sentiment does not come from the European Commission. IMEC has worked well with the European Commission for many years and that, together with the European Commission's attempts to help the continent maintain manufacturing, is causing friction with other interests, said Bryant.
European Commission sees the technology and ability to manufacture
chips on 450-mm wafers as a key enabling technology for the continent. However,
because of the expense of R&D and capital equipment,
STMicroelectronics and Infineon now outsource leading-edge manufacturing
and have little interest in 450-mm wafers and instead lobby for support in line
with their "More-than-Moore" interests.
For example, STMicroelectronics has been pressing for money from the European Union to help it upgrade 200-mm wafer fabs so that they can make chips on 300-mm diameter wafers, Bryant said.
"We are getting truly
fed up hearing that European funded R&D is being 'stolen' by
overseas companies and that funding should be restricted to only that
which directly benefits Europe's big three chip firms," said Bryant in
"Regrettably STMicroelectronics, NXP and
Infineon are now no longer tier-1 companies," Bryant said on a slide of his presentation before going
on to make the argument that the European Commission and other public
authorities should support leading-edge European companies in
semiconductor equipment such as ASML, and in intellectual property such
Related links and articles:
The full report can be downloaded from the European Commission's website at http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/ict/nanoelectronics/documents/450mm-final-report.pdf
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Could 450-mm wafers play away from the leading edge?