French nanotechnology has been boosted by US and Japanese companies keen to invest and launch partnerships in France to take advantage of its cutting-edge nanotechnology expertise. The country boasts several high-tech clusters dedicated to advancing excellence in nanotechnology, including the SCS cluster in Sophia Antipolis, the Systematic cluster in the Paris region and Minalogic, the global micro-nanotechnology competitiveness cluster (or pôle de compétitivité) located in Grenoble.

Minalogic is strengthening its leading status by investing €80 M in eight new collaborative projects focused on micro and nanotechnologies for next-generation semiconductors and new manufacturing processes. The cluster has recently welcomed Hewlett-Packard (HP) as its 50th partner. HP will help cluster members save time and money with access to Virtual Nodes, which are highly advanced 2-TeraFlop data processors.

Also from the US, California-based analogue semiconductor company Monolithic Power Systems has opened its headquarters in Bernin-Crolles. Boc Edwards has also moved its European semiconductor business headquarters to Grenoble, in order to be closer to its electronics-sector customers and to recruit skilled talent in the region.

On the R&D side, France’s world-class nanotech laboratory, CEA-Leti, and leading Japanese lithography company Nikon are joining forces to research double patterning and double exposure technology for 32 nm semiconductor devices. Another Japanese company, Yamatake, is already working with Leti to develop nanotechnologies.