SAM3 – Shared Success to Secure European Competitive Leadership

14 Nov 2019

Paris, 14 November 2019 – SAM3, a project co-labelled by EURIPIDES² and CATRENE, has successfully delivered new diagnostic tools and analysis methods for 3D integration in advanced microsystems and materials characterization.

The SAM3 consortium, from France and Germany, consisted of four leading European semiconductor and system suppliers, ten tool providers and four research institutes. Over the 3-year project period, the partners generated numerous results with strong commercial potential. In particular, the consortium has achieved significant progress in the fields of failure localisation, device preparation and analytical characterisation in system in package (SiP) devices, e.g. applying 3D die stacking. This includes high-resolution Scanning Acoustic Microscopy for detection of interface-defects, electrical localization of failures, preparation of SiP’s by means of laser, Plasma-Focused-Ion-Beam and reactive ion etching, high-resolution characterization of strain, quantitative dopant density measurements as well as surface and thermal mapping.

Advanced microsystems underpin the implementation of Europe’s digital economy. The development of new applications in areas such as smart cities, automotive, energy generation and distribution, communications and computing and many others are dependent on the ability to rapidly develop and qualify the electronics systems on which these capabilities are based. The SAM3 project results are important in securing Europe’s competitive advantage in these areas. They enable European semiconductor, system, equipment and diagnostic tool suppliers to meet the upcoming challenges for More-than-Moore (MtM), SiP and 3D high-density integration technologies.

With applications growing both in Europe and worldwide, there is an expanding demand for reliable, high-quality and cost-effective compact microelectronic devices that require MtM, SiP and 3D high-density integration in their design. The overall SiP market is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 8.1% between 2019 and 20251 and the global SiP packaging technology market to is expected to reach USD 30 billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 9.0% during the forecast period 2016–20222.

The SAM3 project involving two funding countries France and Germany was set up against this backdrop to enable European companies, including SMEs, to build on existing strengths and to compete effectively through innovations in failure-analysis, material characterization, defect localization, efficient sample preparation, physical failure analysis techniques and workflows. These advances will improve the technological process during system development and device manufacturing, leading to shorter development cycles and higher reliability and quality of new products, as well as other benefits such as greater energy efficiency (particularly for 3D-SiP).

The SAM3 consortium has had access to the best resources to ensure projects attain high levels of achievement due to the ‘co-labelling’ nature of the project between the CATRENE and EURIPIDES² EUREKA Clusters. This experience has been carried through into the PENTA/EURIPIDES² synchronised calls, now being run annually to better serve the Electronics Components & Systems (ECS) community.

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CATRENE is a EUREKA cluster programme operated by AENEAS. It was created in 2008 and focussed on micro and nanoelectronics research and innovation, which aims at achieving Technological Leadership for a competitive European ICT industry. It is based on the ambition of European countries, in partnership with European companies, to jointly deliver nano- and microelectronics-based solutions that respond to the needs of society at large, improve the economic prosperity of Europe and reinforce the ability of its industry to be at the forefront of global competition.
After 11 years of operation and 8 calls, the 51 CATRENE projects involving SMEs, large corporations, research institutions and universities have, and are, demonstrating great impact on societal challenges while promoting European economic development in this vital area.

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EURIPIDES² is a EUREKA Cluster promoting the generation of innovative, industry-driven, pre-competitive R&D projects in the area of Smart Electronic Systems Integration. EURIPIDES² is the innovation hub for smart sensors, smart power modules, electronic hardware platforms and more generally electronic product integration and embedded systems for automotive, aeronautics and space, security, medical electronics, smart everywhere (cities, home, wearable) and industrial electronics. EURIPIDES² facilitates access to national funding in Europe and beyond. As a EUREKA Cluster, the network is open to participants worldwide.