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H2020

EUROPRACTICE 2016 Report Summary

Project ID: 688226
Funded under: H2020-EU.2.1.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EUROPRACTICE 2016 (EUROPRACTICE training, CAD and prototyping services for European universities and research institut)

Reporting period: 2016-07-01 to 2017-06-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The electronic system and semiconductor industry has been a key contributor to European economic growth and prosperity, and an important enabler of European success in the communications, consumer electronics, industrial machinery, and automotive industries. Moreover this sector will be key in providing advanced solutions for the main societal challenges.
In order to ensure that Europe remains competitive in new product design and prevent all aspects of design being outsourced in the future to other regions like Asia, it is mandatory that European industry has enough high quality well-trained SoC design engineers.
Consequently, universities must continue to have access to state-of-the-art CAD tools and prototype fabrication for IC, MEMS and heterogeneous technologies.
The European Commission has supported broker services for over 20 years that offer European universities, researchers and SMEs appropriate access to CAD tools, advanced technologies, design kits, IP blocks and training to support their education, prototyping and small volume production. These services have been offered by EUROCHIP (1989-1995) and EUROPRACTICE (1995-2016).
The main goal of the project is to have a continuation of the Europractice services that is widely recognized as a world-leading service offering state-of-the-art CAD tools and technologies to universities and industry.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

1.2.1 Work package 1 – Project Management

Effective project management is required in order to manage, harmonize and plan the activities conducted in the entire EUROPRACTICE2016 project. During this reporting period, very regularly project management meetings took place, plus in addition several meetings with CMP to discuss future collaboration.
Also, a first Advisory Committee meeting took place in February 2017, which consists out of representatives from industry and academia. Very good feedback was collected for future directions and operations of Europractice.
Finally, during the reporting period, actions have been undertaken to harmonize the Fraunhofer, imec and common fabrication databases.

1.2.2 Work package 2 – System and IC design tools
The Europractice Design Tool portfolio has continued to evolve to reflect the requirements of the users and the need to provide stimulation in new areas of interest and further encouragement for those areas that have yet to truly take off.

In the traditional IC design area modules have been added to support sub 20nm design and implementation while there have been significant improvements in the More-than-Moore area, particularly the photonics offering and a transition in the MEMS area from a niche interest to a mainstream technology with fewer barriers to adoption.
The member institutes of Europractice must pay a membership fee each year in order to continue to participate. In the most recent complete year there were 602 paid members who had their memberships renewed and had the design tool licenses renewed, upgraded and enhanced with new features.

1.2.3 Work package 3 – IC technologies

In this first period of Europractice 2016, a total of 530 ASIC designs were fabricated. Over the total period, 396 designs were coming from academic Europractice members, 26 industrial designs from Europe and in total 108 designs from the rest of the world. Most of our customers use the TSMC technologies (154 mainly academic submissions) with a focus on 65 nm. Still there is a large amount (134 submissions) for ams technologies with focus on precision analog and sensor structures. UMC with 126 submissions also is a very frequently used foundry. GLOBALFOUNDRIES has only 6 submissions due to being the newest Europractice foundry and with an advanced MPW technology.

Many of our foundries improved their portfolio for example with advanced packages like Wafer Level Chip Scale Package (WLCSP), Flip Chip Bumping, Through Silicon Via (TSV) and soon Fan-Out Wafer-Level packaging (FOWLP). As more options become available for MPW runs these options will be offered to Europractice customers.

1.2.4 Work package 4 – Extension towards More-than-Moore technologies

Europractice offers different More-than-Moore technologies to its customers, ranging from opto-electronics processes to Si-Photonics and MEMS. These technology options are offered through 8 different foundries. Especially the Si-photonics technologies are very popular with the Europractice customers. In this period, 42 out of the 56 More-than-Moore designs were Si-photonics designs.

1.2.5 Work package 5 – Mini@sic and Stimulation actions

In the short time of this reporting period already all mini@sic subsidy of the EP2016 project has been consumed. As expected significant subsidy was consumed for 28nm nodes. But in addition, also 52k€ was used on the TSMC 90nm node, since many users have shifted to the 65nm node and it difficult to fill all blocks.

In addition, two different special Stimulation Actions for first users were initiated during this reporting period: one on the design of ASICs and one on More-than-Moore designs. For ASICs the best 20 proposals were selected over 2 categories. In the More-than-Moore category 8 MEMS designs and 7 designs for Si-photonics have been received.

1.2.6 Work package 6 – Training

EUROPRACTICE2016 delivered training courses on carefully selected topics that are relevant to the European academic s

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The primary impact of Europractice is realized by the long term strategic partnership between the Europractice service and the Member institutes. This model provides large gain enabling many more European Training, Research and Innovation activities to take place than could possibly be undertaken by a single consortium, regardless of its size.

Therefore, Europractice has two levels of exploitation and dissemination of results:
• Direct from Europractice to the Member institutes
• Indirect from the ~600 Member institutes to the wider community
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