To keep Europe at the forefront of semiconductor technology, the European Commission will seed-fund an integrated project called NANOCMOS. The project aims to pioneer the necessary changes in materials, processes, device architectures and interconnections to keep pushing the limits of semiconductor performance and density.

Participants in the project will be charged with demonstrating the feasibility of 45 nm CMOS logic technology in 2005 while simultaneously starting research activities for the next-generation 32 and 22 nm technology nodes. Today these smaller nodes are considered at the limits of present technologies but the results of the NANOCMOS project are expected to open the way to entirely new applications for the Information Society.

The partners in the project are heavyweight players. They include: Europe’s three largest semiconductor companies — Infineon, Philips and STMicroelectronics; the two largest European technological research institutes —CEA Leti (France) and IMEC (Belgium); three research laboratories coordinated by the FhG (Germany); eight research laboratories coordinated by the CNRS (France); one research laboratory from the Technical University of Chemnitz (Germany); three companies — Ion Beam Services (France), ISILTEC (Germany) and Magwel (Belgium); and ACIES Europe (France), which will undertake some management aspects of the project. Additional partners could be incorporated into the consortium in the future.

The first phase is expected to last 27 months and mobilizes a large research potential. In addition to the €24 M support from the European Commission, the partners will also invest advanced research resources to achieve the objectives of the project.