Ascent+ programme raises €10m for nanoelectronics research

6 Oct 2020

Julie Donnelly, Tyndall programme manager for the Ascent+ project. Image: Tyndall National Institute

The Tyndall National Institute and microelectronics group MIDAS are set to participate in the €10m European Ascent+ programme, which aims to further research into nanoelectronics.

Today (6 October), European nanoelectronics network Ascent announced that the Ascent+ Access Programme has secured €10m to broaden the network’s initial programme.

With the funding, Ascent will open key European infrastructures to researchers, with the goal of turning the continent into a leading hub for nanoelectronics.

The network said that it is mobilising its network, knowledge and investment to enable academic and industry researchers to address emerging research challenges in nanoelectronics and to accelerate path-finding.

With European Union (EU) investment, the Ascent+ programme aims to bring together 15 partners to build up the nanoelectronics community in Europe. Among the partners are MIDAS Ireland, an industry-led cluster of companies and academic institutes, and the Tyndall National Institute, an Irish research centre focusing on integrated ICT materials, devices and systems.

Advancing Ascent

In a statement, the network said that the Ascent+ programme will offer an extensive portfolio to access state-of-the-art processing, modelling and datasets, metrology and characterisation, and devices and test structures for nanoelectronics.

This advances the first phase of the open-access programme, which delivered 100 access projects to researchers from 30 countries across the global research community over the last four years. The network has built a community of 400 researchers.

Joining Tyndall are France’s CEA-Leti, Germany’s Fraunhofer-Verbund Mikroelektronik, Belgium’s Imec, and Portugal- and Spain-based INL.

According to Ascent, these institutes combine research infrastructure and expertise representing more than €2.5bn of investment and a great deal of accumulated knowledge. The programme also includes CNRS in France, Universiteit Gent in Belgium, TU Bergakademie Freiberg in Germany, JKU in Austria, and University of Padova in Italy as academic partners.

‘Unparalleled access’

The academic partners will help advance the offering and further stimulate the user community to bridge the gap between scientific exploration and development of proof-of-concept technologies to fast-track development of next generation information processing devices.

There is also participation from the Silicon Europe Alliance, from members including Ireland’s industry association for microelectronics and electronic systems design, MIDAS.

Giorgos Fagas, Ascent+ lead and head of EU programmes at Tyndall National Institute, said: “The next era in nanoelectronics is driven by demonstrations of quantum advantage using solid-state platforms, low-power, energy efficient, high-performance computing based on disruptive devices, and increased functionality through advanced integration of a diverse range of materials and innovative technologies.

“Ascent+ offers an unparalleled access opportunity to users, empowering them to respond to these new problems and to advance knowledge and technology through generating novel results and nurturing talent in their own labs.”

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic