Twente wants to build a factory for heterogeneous chips

A consortium from Twente has drawn up plans to build a factory for the design and production of heterogeneous chips. In this way, the partnership wants to contribute to the European ambition to be less dependent on Asia and the US for chip production.

The construction of the chip factory is part of a plan to strengthen the chip technology sector in Twente. That plan also includes the aim of investing in research into heterogeneous systems. The region would be well placed to play an important role in the development of such systems. For example, Timo Meinders, director of the MESA+ Institute for nano research, says: “We have all the key technologies in house: analog mixed signal and RF design, photonics, quantum photonics, microfluidics, materials, thin film application and advanced production.”

On Friday, Meinders, together with Bram Nauta, professor of Integrated Circuit Design at the University of Twente, presented the plan to MEP Bart Groothuis† The Nauta department, the MESA+ Institute and about fifty companies in the region have united in the ChipTech Twente cluster. In the coming months, this consortium will draw up a roadmap with a clarification of the timeframe within which the plans can be realised.

The Twente region is thus responding to the European Commission’s aim to allow the development and production of high-end chips to take place again on the territory of the EU. The European Commission has drawn up the EU Chips Act for this, among other things. Heterogeneous chips are chips on which various techniques are integrated. The development of these types of chips is still in the start-up phase. The Twente sector initially focuses on pilot manufacturing, but has the ambition to grow into large-scale production.

On the left Bram Nauta and Timo Meinders, on the right Bart Groothuis