Progress made in smart power technologies

22nd May 2024
Caitlin Gittins

In a collaborative development project lasting around a year, significant advancements were achieved in producing smart power technologies. 

Research organisation Fraunhofer IPMS significantly supported semiconductor manufacturer Infineon by providing selected process modules within the entire CMOS process value chain on 300mm wafers.

The partnership was crucial for the process development associated with the factory expansion at Infineon Dresden. Over 2000 wafers were successfully processed as part of this collaboration, with multiple exchanges of wafers between Fraunhofer IPMS and Infineon Dresden to ensure optimal resource utilisation and seamless integration into the production lines.

"The results of this joint project are extremely promising and mark a significant step forward for the production of smart power technologies at Infineon Dresden," said Project Manager Andreas Thamm from Infineon. "The close collaboration and the provision of process modules by Fraunhofer IPMS have enabled us to move ahead faster than planned with the process transfer to 300mm equipment needed to expand our manufacturing capabilities."

This project's successful execution highlights the technological expertise and effective cooperation between Fraunhofer IPMS and its partners. Previous collaborations with semiconductor expert Infineon proved valuable: "We have been working together for years," confirmed Dr. Malte Czernohorsky, Project Manager at Fraunhofer IPMS. "In this project, Fraunhofer experts worked closely with colleagues from Infineon."

The teams are now well synchronised. The cooperation was always results-oriented, and colleagues at Infineon were very receptive to Franhofer IPMS' ideas, which Czernohorsky praised. "Based on the positive experiences from previous years, we are already thinking about follow-up projects."

This milestone and the expansion of capacities in the Smart Power Fab area underscore Infineon's ongoing efforts to strengthen its position as a supplier of high-performance circuits, particularly at the Dresden site. With the construction of the new Smart Power Fab, Infineon is making one of the largest single investments in its history. The goal of the semiconductor manufacturer is to accelerate the expansion of its semiconductor production capacities and to further bolster Europe as a chip manufacturing hub. This is a crucial contribution to meeting the growing global demand for semiconductors – for example, for renewable energy applications, data centres, and electromobility.

Infineon's work is being funded by the European Union, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection, and the Free State of Saxony as part of an Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) in the fields of microelectronics and communication technologies. The funding supports the development of future-oriented, innovative microelectronics and communication technologies up to market maturity.

The aim is to complete the European value chain, contribute to European technological sovereignty, and promote climate protection through energy-efficient technologies and processes.

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