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Unconventional Nanoelectronics


Projects will aim at demonstrating the viability of new approaches to computing components. The focus should be on demonstrating new concepts at transistor or circuit level which bring the potential of highly improved performance for generic or specific applications. This can be based on materials, computing unit architecture (transistor or beyond) as well as at circuit level. Still the focus is on devices and components, as well as related processing technologies.

The concept validation should be addressed in a controlled environment at a limited scale (laboratory, research line) amenable to transfer to larger scale developments in industrial environments (pilot lines, etc.).

Innovative concepts include, but are not limited to, the design, processing and integration of devices based on new approaches, e.g. spintronics, neuromorphic, resulting in computing devices and circuits. Proposals are expected to prove the industrial relevance of the intended approach.

The scope of the call covers Research & Innovation Actions on

  • Energy-efficient computation devices beyond the current CMOS paradigm. These can address steep slope devices, quantum bits implemented in solid-state, spintronic-based devices, single electron devices, nanomechanical switches, etc.
  • Energy-efficient computation circuit architectures. These can be based on the devices above but approaches based on neuromorphic computing or other hardware implementation are relevant.
  • Specific technological developments may include (i) promising approaches for 3D stacks, both sequential and monolithic to address challenges of compactness, heat dissipation, reduced interconnect length, and (ii) development of cryogenic electronics to support advances in applications to computing (superconducting, quantum computing) or constraints faced in space. The aim is the demonstration of functionality at circuit level by integrating the adequate functional blocks.
  • Design for advanced nanoelectronics technologies. Focus will be on design-technology solutions for energy efficiency, high reliability and robustness. All above topics can be addressed as well as the issues related to improving the devices and circuits in the advanced technology nodes.

The proposed demonstrations are expected to be validated in laboratory (TRL 4).

Proposal are also expected to specify the road to industrialisation and establish links to applications likely to benefit from the development.

In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)497), international cooperation is encouraged, in particular with countries that have substantial research in the area (e.g. Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the USA).

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 and 4 million would allow this area to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

The challenge is to maintain Europe's position at the forefront of advanced nanoelectronic technologies developments. This is essential to ensure strategic electronic design and manufacturing capability in Europe avoiding critical dependencies from other regions. Advanced nanoelectronics technologies enable innovative solutions to industrial and societal challenges.

Proposals should address one or more of the following impact criteria and provide metrics to measure and monitor success.

  • Identify applications likely to benefit from the intended approach with indication of key parameters (power, energy-efficiency, size, frequency, and cost) and quantitative targets to be achieved (figures of merit).
  • Contribute to the mid-term viability of the European Nanoelectronics industry ensuring that new technologies with high potential for computing emerge in time to be taken up by industry.
  • Sustain the technological integration requirements by focussing on challenging 3D integration issues as well as for electronics at cryogenic temperature.
  • Contribute to the European industry capability to design advanced circuits for its needs.