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Microelectronics development for european applications system innovation on silicon for the e-economy

A new cooperative r & d programme to strengthen micro-
electronics in europe as the enabling technology for the
whole information society, thereby strongly contributing
to the creation of higher added-value and more jobs.

Our world at the beginning of the 21st century is fundamentally and irreversibly changing. Microelectronics are playing a decisive role in these changes. The advances in ICT (Information and Communications Technology) networking, products and services based on innovative integrated circuits, has given momentum to the Internet and e-commerce, creating vast new industries and economic potential. The International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) sets the technological pace for microelectronics until 2014. Semiconductor companies and their suppliers have to find solutions to stay at the leading edge. Strong interaction between microelectronics companies and systems companies will be required to develop the right processes for the application platforms and to reconcile the need to embed increasingly complex functions on-chip with the need to decrease the cost of the end system. The proposed technical scope of MEDEA+ will therefore cover both 'Silicon Application Platforms' in selected market areas and 'Enabling Technologies' supporting them. The particularity of this programme is that it will, through a much stronger coupling of system and semiconductor competencies than before, propose an integrated solution to the most important and demanding electronics market requirements. Consequently, it will offer Europe its best chance to lead global competition in the selected areas. Teaming up vertically, system and semiconductors companies will define and implement the chip-sets necessary for the future electronic systems enabling the e-economy. In order to maximise the synergies between competing systems companies, a 'platform' concept will be used in each of these areas, making possible the emergence of de facto standards and the building-up of the key Intellectual Property. This is an essential requirement for safeguarding Europe's lead. The MEDEA+ programme will focus on 'System innovation on silicon'. This means that the key areas where projects will be welcome are those linked to innovation in applications and to silicon technology in its broader sense. Strong interaction between electronic system houses and IC (integrated circuit) manufacturers is essential to find the right balance between application pull and technology push in the definition of the required technologies, strengthening both partners in the supply chain. Moreover, leadership in application segments serving the e-economy and fulfilling individuals' wishes of interconnectivity and ubiquity will require access to new ICT products with new architecture, size and cost. IC companies and their suppliers must also strengthen their enabling technologies to keep a competitive position and to be able to supply leading edge IC devices and chip-sets. New, highly innovative, single process steps in silicon manufacturing technologies as well as new materials invented in whatever region of the world will offer the possibility to use the smallest available structure for single chips 'filled' with all kind of functions supplied until now on separate ICs. Mixed signal parts, micro- computers combined with memory cells, maybe added sensor cells and/or power structures, lead the way to new applications in the future. Focusing on these enabling technologies for each application area - bearing in mind Europe's strengths as well as market size and potential market growth - will not only guarantee Europe's leading position in major applications but also sustain its dominance in the underlying product areas. Keywords: microelectronics, information society, system applications.
Acronym: 
MEDEA+
Project ID: 
2 365
Start date: 
01-01-2001
Project Duration: 
96months
Project costs: 
4 000 000 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.