Smart Equipment Technolgy (SET), Replisaurus Mastering, and research partner, CEA-Leti, were awarded a package worth € 9.9 million from OSEO’s Strategic Industrial Innovation Program to fund CUIVRE, a three year collaborative project aimed at the simplification and shortening of the metallization steps in the microelectronics fabrication cycle, while simultaneously improving the electrical performance.

Certified by the Minalogic Competitive Cluster, CUIVRE (French for “copper”) aims to further develop the electrochemical pattern replication process (ECPR) for the deposition of copper patterns on wafers. This environmentally friendly process provides a simpler way to apply copper interconnect patterns and certain types of components, ensuring better form factors and increased geometrical accuracy, and is a direct response to changes in the semiconductor market needs thanks to the uniformity.

CUIVRE’s goal is to stabilize process performance then industrialize the process by effectively integrating it into an actual fabrication process. “The support provided for the CUIVRE project forms part of the ISI program (Industrial Strategic Innovation), which aims to support collaborative projects containing at least two French SMEs, which must also contribute to creating or strengthening new European or World champions,” explained Claude Pinault, Director of the Industrial Strategic Innovation Program.”This project was ideally matched with the required criteria. We are very pleased to be able to contribute to the progress of this program which we believe to be very promising.”

The CUIVRE project brings SET, manufacturer of high accuracy device bonders; Replisaurus Mastering, a start-up created to develop masters, key components for ECPR technology; CEA-Leti institute and four major industry leaders.
Replisaurus Mastering, in collaboration with CEA-Leti, will develop the master, i.e., the electrode carrying the negative of the copper patterns to be deposited.

Accordning to Guido Groet, President of Replisaurus Mastering, the strength of ECPR lies in it being both technologically advanced and simple. “We are honored to have been selected by OSEO, and look forward to developing this technology further with our partners and bringing it successfully to market,” he said.

“It is of capital and strategic importance for CEA-Leti to contribute to the development and industrialization of highly generic innovative technologies,” notes Laurent Malier, Director of CEA-Leti, “First of all, it represents one of CEA-Leti’s prime missions as well as an added value for its industrial partners. Furthermore, this will allow us to make a very precise and early estimate of their potential in our activities and the interest they represent for the development of our products.”

SET is is responsible for producing the printing module, which, after an extremely accurate alignment, will bring master and wafer into contact. “By becoming the equipment supplier for ECPR technology, SET will create opportunities to develop a new product line, based on 30 years of know-how and experience in very high accuracy alignment.” states Gaël Schmidt, president, S.E.T. Furthermore, the diversification of our product portfolio represents an excellent opportunity to target new markets.”
The final phase of the “CUIVRE” project aims to integrate the printing module into a production machine, a cluster offering various functions such as the loading and cleaning of wafers and masters.

Francoise von Trapp

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