R&D programme for sustainable semiconductor manufacturing

R&D programme for sustainable semiconductor manufacturing

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Picosun in Finland is leading a four year programme to boost the environmental sustainability of semiconductor manufacturing that could be worth €100m.  

The company, now part of Applied Materials, focusses on atomic layer deposition technologies. It aims to bring together companies across the semiconductor ecosystem in Finland to reduce the carbon footprint of chip manufacturing and increasing the efficiency of semiconductor decarbonization applications.

Picosun will initiate and lead the ‘Chip Zero’ programme with a significant grant from Business Finland. The aim is to scale the program over time with contributions from ecosystem partners to reach more than €100m in R&D investments.

This follows the launch of a semiconductor fab sustainability consortium by US industry group Semi.   

The project will include efforts to reduce energy consumption and the environmental impact of chemical use in semiconductor manufacturing.

Specific goals include achieving a 50-percent reduction in energy and chemical consumption of thin-film deposition and a double-digit increase in the efficiency of power electronic component applications, such as electric vehicle (EV) chargers and electric motor control electronics, by 2030.

Among the strategies to achieve these goals is the development of optimized process flows for chip manufacturing, similar to the project currently underway at PragmatIC Semiconductor in the UK.

“Picosun is excited to lead the Chip Zero program and bring together Finland’s strong technology R&D ecosystem with a common objective of developing more efficient chips and minimizing the environmental impact of manufacturing. We look forward to collaborating across the value chain to drive critical advances that will accelerate a greener and more sustainable semiconductor industry in Finland,” says Dr. Jani Kivioja, CTO of Picosun.

“With the global semiconductor market projected to reach US$1 trillion by 2030*, the need for greater efficiency in chip manufacturing is more important than ever. Finland has significant and pioneering competences in key chipmaking technologies, and the Chip Zero program intends to focus these capabilities on strengthening the country’s sustainability efforts,” continues Jussi Rautee, CEO of Picosun and Vice President of Applied Materials.

“The opportunity for technology to shape a more sustainable world has never been more promising,” says Chris Librie, Applied Materials Director of ESG, Corporate Sustainability and Reporting. “At Applied Materials, our vision is to Make Possible a Better Future, and we are pleased that our team in Finland is making a positive difference through programs like Chip Zero that aim to reduce the environmental impact of computing.”


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