X-Fab puts money into chip printing

German foundry X-Fab has invested $1.5m in Semprius and will provide wafers to the North Carolina solar-power company, which has developed a technique to transfer circuits built on silicon onto other substrates.

Semprius claimed the technology enables “point-of-use electronics”, in which pre-defined complex circuits can be lifted from a silicon wafer and stamped onto other objects. The technology was developed for producing concentrator solar modules but could be used to produce displays and power modules for wireless devices.

The system works by etching under the circuit so that the active electronics are transferred from a wafer onto a stamp. This stamp then prints the circuits onto a destination substrate. Semprius claims its process has greater than 99 per cent printing yield for most semiconductor processes.

“The strategic relationship with X-Fab will provide our customers with ready access to world-class semiconductor fabrication in all aspects, from a Semprius-certified design kit to fully warranted wafer delivery," said Joe Carr, president and CEO of Semprius. “We are delighted to be working with such a strong technology and service-focused partner.”

“Semprius' expertise and innovative intellectual property position it as a key driver in the field of printed electronics,” said Hans-Juergen Straub, CEO of X-FAB. "Its advanced technology opens a multitude of new markets for our foundry business, and we foresee many areas of potential cooperation with Semprius.”

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