PICS Project - NEWS

Press information: Successful industrialization of high-density 3D integrated silicon capacitors for ultra-miniaturized electronic components

Three high-tech SMEs finalize the joint EU-funded PICS project on innovative ALD materials and manufacturing equipment

GRENOBLE and CAEN, France – Oct. 22, 2015 –Two years after the launch of the PICS project (funded by the FP7 funding instrument dedicated to research for the benefit of SMEs), three European SMEs, IPDiA, Picosun and SENTECH Instruments along with CEA-Leti and Fraunhofer IPMS-CNT announce the major technological results achieved during this program. Started in September 2013, the PICS project was focused on developing innovative dielectric materials deposited by atomic layer deposition (ALD) and related tools (ALD batch tool and etching tool) to bring to mass production a new technology of high- density and high-voltage 3D trench capacitors targeting high-end markets like medical or aeronautics. Capacitors are key components presented in every electronic module. The integrated silicon capacitors technology offered by the SME IPDiA outperforms current technologies (using ceramic or tantalum substrates) in stability in temperature, voltage, aging and reliability and enables to build highly integrated and high-performance electronic modules.

The consortium’s three major technological results are:
• A novel ALD batch tool was developed by Picosun and Fraunhofer IPMS-CNT. It enables to reduce cost-of-ownership and deliver better uniformity and step coverage for high-K dielectrics into 3D structures. With its demonstrated, optimized and production-proven ALD processes, Picosun is solidifying its position as a technological leader in the IC, Semiconductor, MEMS markets, from R&D to production systems.

• A new process for accurately etching high-K dielectrics, which are very specific materials, was demonstrated by SENTECH with the help of Fraunhofer IPMS-CNT. As a result, SENTECH has the potential to gain market share in the field of high-k materials, which have high interest for different applications, e.g. LED, MEMS, magnetic data storage.

• Two new dielectric stacks were developed and integrated into the IPDiA 3D trench capacitors by IPDiA, CEA-Leti and Fraunhofer IPMS-CNT. The initial specifications were fulfilled and proven by electrical measurements. A new record on capacitance density (>500nF/mm² at 3.3V) and an extended operation voltage (10V with 150nF/mm²) were obtained, which expands IPDiA’s ability to meet current market requirements particularly in the field of medical or aeronautics. Qualification procedure was initiated during the project by launching preliminary reliability studies and it will continue in the coming months. On top of these R&D results, the other main objective of PICS was the industrialization of this new integrated capacitors technology. Thanks to the partnerships set up, the manufacturability and financial viabilities were ensured by developing adequate industrial tools targeting mass production. The PICS project is a success for all three SMEs and a good example of the benefits brought by the EU funding instrument “Research for the benefit of SMEs”. The SMEs were able to outsource a part of their research to get from RTD performers innovative know-how and cutting-edge technological processes. The project was built to answer the SMEs’ specific needs and a common goal was set up around the new IPDiA capacitors technology and the specific tools (ALD batch tool and etching) required for its commercial exploitation.



Two Major EU Research Institutes and Three High-tech SMEs Launch Project to Industrialize New World Record High-density Capacitors

Prototype of medical pills integrating temperature sensor and RF transceiver Press information: PICS project will develop innovative Atomic Layer Deposition materials and tools for high density 3D integrated capacitors

GRENOBLE and CAEN, France – Oct. 23, 2013 –CEA-Leti, Fraunhofer CNT and three European SMEs, IPDiA, Picosun and SENTECH Instruments, have launched a project to industrialize 3D integrated capacitors with world-record density. Thetwo-year EU-funded PICS project is designed to develop a disruptive technology that results in a new worldrecord for integrated capacitor densities (over 500nF/mm2) combined with higher breakdown voltages. It will strengthen the SME partners’ position in several markets, such as automotive, medical and lighting, by offering an even higher integration level and more miniaturization. 3D trench capacitors integrated into Silicon Read more »

Press information: Picosun brings ALD into pacemakers and electric cars

Dresden, Germany and ESPOO, Finland - Oct. 25, 2013 – Picosun Oy, the leading Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD)
equipment manufacturer and Fraunhofer CNT, the ALD research expert focus on high power density 3D capacitor technology, which is suitable for storing and handling large quantities of energy, is utilized for example in pacemakers and other implantable medical devices, electric cars, and more and more efficient memories for computers and mobile devices. To realize these applications, power consumption, long-term stability, and general reliability of the capacitors and other related electronic components need improvement and their footprint substantial reduction. Read more »

Picture 1: Prototype of medical pills integrating temperature sensor and RF transceiver
Picture 2: 3D trench capacitors integrated into Silicon

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PICS (Passive Integated Connective Substrate)

The goal of the PICS project is to go further and to bring a technological gap to get higher densities of capacitors and higher breakdown voltage. It will open the way to new markets by offering even more integration level and miniaturization (in order to increase the functionality combination and the complexity within a single package) and higher performances (in order to ensure long life operations and be able to place the sensors as close as possible to the “hottest” areas for efficient monitoring). The innovation will be based on the use of a specific technology called atomic layer deposition, or ALD, that will enable to obtain an impressive quality of dielectric. Besides technical goals, the PICS project aims also to set-up a cost effective industrial solution.



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