The Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems IPMS is upgrading its microsystem cleanroom in a €30m investment.
The upgrade to the Dresden, Germany-based research institute will involve moving up from the current 150mm wafer base to a 200mm process line for research, development and pilot fabrication of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS).
The funding comes from state and federal sources as well as from the European Regional Development Fund (EFRE). Following approval of the investment by SAB, the Development Bank of Saxony, the project can now get underway.
Both Prof. Hubert Lakner and Prof. Harald Schenk, Directors of the Fraunhofer IPMS, commented: 'With the help of the state, the federal government and the EU, it is now possible for us to continue providing modern and innovative research and development ensuring efficient cooperation at the highest level with business and industry partners.
'Our Institute is one of the pioneers and the innovation leader in the 'More than Moore' field. With the approval of the expeditious start of investment for the 200mm expansion, we can now take specific action to expand our leading position among global competitors and to address emerging fields.'
Fraunhofer IPMS's most important R&D partners have already transitioned to 200mm technology. Uniform wafer size makes it possible to attain the work distribution necessary for processing, allowing for further miniaturisation and functional integration.
The Institute will establish a modern technology basis by 2017, which will provide innovative research and development to national and international partners.