Developing Finnish semiconductor ecosystem towards a green and competitive future
Chip Zero is a Business Finland funded initiative aimed at creating an industry ecosystem for more sustainable and environmentally friendly semiconductor manufacturing. Applied Materials in Finland is the leading company of the program.
Jani Kivoja, CTO of Picosun business group at Applied Materials explains the objectives and expected outcomes of the program.
What are the objectives of Chip Zero program?
Semiconductor manufacturing is resource-intensive and consumes significant amounts of chemicals, water and energy. Chip Zero aims to reduce the environmental impact of semiconductor manufacturing and significantly improve the environmental footprint of semiconductor components. The objective is to create a greener semiconductor industry that brings competitive advantages and adheres to sustainable values.
The second objective is the establishment of Finnish semiconductor ecosystem. This involves the collaboration and alignment of the Finnish semiconductor industry to find a common voice. Our goal is to strengthen the semiconductor industry in Finland and build a sustainable foundation for the industry development.
What are you expecting the program impact and outcomes to be?
As a result of developing greener technology solutions, the Finnish semiconductor industry will achieve a competitive advantage in the global market. This program is also connected to the EU-wide goal of greener initiatives. It strives to develop the European semiconductor industry, which positively impacts the security of component availability. In a nutshell, this program serves as a strong foundation for the development of the Finnish semiconductor industry and has a positive impact on the future of the entire sector.
How do you see Applied Materials’s role in the program?
Applied Materials acquired Picosun in June 2022. Picosun business unit at Applied Materials is a market leader in Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) solutions. We play a central role in the program, driving the mission of Chip Zero, and supplying and developing ALD solutions for the semiconductor industry. Picosun is well suited to lead the program with the support and access to the global semiconductor market enabled by Applied Materials, the world's largest semiconductor equipment supplier.
How big investments are we talking about within the program?
In addition to the funding Picosun received to establish the program, Business Finland has reserved 20M€ for supporting of Chip Zero partnership projects. Ultimately, the aim is to scale the program over time with contributions from ecosystem partners to reach more than 100M€ in R&D investments.
What is the status of the ecosystem partner base today?
Today, we have some twenty signed partnerships, but are looking to grow the number to over 50 in the very near future. We welcome organizations who can contribute to one or more of our program themes, which are 1) Developing resource-efficient semiconductor manufacturing equipment, processes and materials 2) Boosting circularity by linking value chains to closed resource cycles 3) Increasing the positive environmental aspects of semiconductor components.