Automated Nano AnaLysing, characterisatiOn and additive packaGing sUitE (ANALOGUE)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Glasgow
Department Name: College of Science and Engineering


The electronics industry "ElecTech" sector is central to the UK's future economy, environment, and society. With over 1 million employees in sectors enabled by electronics, the contribution of electronic technologies is indispensable. At the heart of electronics are nanoelectronic semiconductor "chips", and it has a leading position in semiconductor intellectual property vendors and emerging areas such as quantum technologies, sustainable electronics manufacturing, and compound semiconductors. The UK's potential lies, and where its future role in the global semiconductor value chain lies, as evidenced in the BEIS committee inquiry.

We will establish an Automated Nano AnaLysing, characterisatiOn and additive packaGing sUitE (ANALOGUE) suite. ANALOGUE will be an exemplary facility that provides a fully automated platform for semiconductor processing, from devices to applications, with centralised workflow design, data collection/capture and real-time analytics. ANALOGUE will enable wafer-scale fully automated electrical characterisation of devices including reliability and temperature cycling capabilities. A fully automated back-end processing platform is integrated enabling die- and wire-bonding, 3D printed electronics and additive heterogenous packaging, co-located with high-resolution printed circuit laser patterning. Co-located with the £35M James Watt Nanofabrication Centre (JWNC), and the Centre for Advanced Electronics (CAE), the facility will enable devices-to-systems across the ICT spectrum, towards a user-centric and responsible design approach for electronics manufacturing.

With a team representing two application-oriented user groups, medical and industrial nanoelectronics, we will create an ecosystem whereby manufacturing, users, and circular economy experts are brought together as users of ANALOGUE. ANALOGUE will support research on implantables, wearables, and diagnostics, through ultrasonic devices. Embedding sustainable manufacturing and onshoring the research into the backend processes of electronics is crucial to meeting the requirements of future electronics design flows. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) buyers like Apple are already demanding commitments from suppliers to decarbonise their products, with distributors expected to assess each product's environmental impact throughout its lifecycle - from design and manufacture to end-of-life. As such, ANALOGUE allows UK researchers to explore the "black-box" of the semiconductor supply chain using automated characterisation and heterogenous packaging, encompassed by an automation and data collection framework for evaluating the efficacy of our experimental workflows.

ANALOGUE will be accessible to the UK's research community across HealthTech, Beyond-Moore Computing, and Circular and Sustainable Electronics. Owing to its automated and streamlined nature, ANALOGUE will allow users from different institutions to utilise the suite remotely, facilitated by expert technical support, enabling rapid innovation across the nanoelectronics spectrum, insulating the UK's electronics research eco-system from global supply chain interruptions, e.g. chip shortages, and underpinning new research into otherwise offshore aspects of the electronics manufacturing.

ANALOGUE builds on the UK's internationally acknowledged strengths in low-power IC Design, electronic materials, and applications in sustainable manufacturing. The Glasgow collaboration as an essential link in the supply chain linking materials producers (e.g., IQE), designers (Arm) manufacturers (PragmatIC Semiconductors, Printed Electronics, MTC), with academic users. The ANALOGUE team will regularly engage with these stakeholders through joint projects, meetings, workshops, and targeted events. The alignment of the proposal with the strategic sustainable systems focus of UofG will also help the envisaged research's long-term planning and strategy building.


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