Articles from "Microelectronics News"

Fraunhofer Group for Microelectronics

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HTA – an alliance with a future

International networking is needed to ensure the competitiveness of microelectronic research within Europe. The four European research institutes CEA-LÉTI and CEA-LITEN, CSEM, FhG-VμE and VTT recognize this and have come together to form the research alliance HTA. A new series introduces each of these institutions.


Increasing globalization of the economy and constantly growing research and development costs mean that higher demands are being placed on research facilities and institutes. These are the challenges faced by the “Heterogeneous Technology Alliance HTA”. The Fraunhofer Group for Microelectronics, CEA-LÉTI and CEA–LITEN in France (Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique – Laboratoire d’Electronique et de Technologie de l’Information) and Switzerland’s CSEM (Centre Suisse d’Electronique et de Microtechnique) joined forces as early as January 2006. In March 2008, the Finnish research center VTT (Technical Research Center of Finland) was added to the alliance.

A bundling of competences and intensive transfer of knowledge

HTA deals with interested clients from business and industry as a central contact in the microelectronics sector. The alliance bundles the research competences of these four large European institutions in an initiative which is the first of its kind. Each partner contributes its own specialist knowledge and technical know-how to the joint development of products for European and worldwide industry. HTA also acts as an interface for an intensive exchange of ideas between scientists and engineers at the various research facilities. This is the best way of sharing knowledge and putting it into practice in order to come up with forwardlooking solutions in smart systems. The existing infrastructure is also put to optimum use.

From the engineering stage to batch manufacturing

The alliance is a key partner for small andmedium-sized enterprises in Europe and has already founded many start-up companies. The competences of the different partners range from research work to engineering and batch manufacturing. The wide portfolio of the four institutions allows HTA to offer solutions for the following sectors:

  • Automotive
  • Aerospace
  • Information and telecommunication
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Energy and environment
  • Industrial process monitoring

The alliance also jointly carries out research projects for the European Union.

4-Labs: a link between research and industry

In March 2009, the four partners founded the joint subsidiary 4-Labs. 4-Labs is an “industry portal” which markets HTA technologies in Europe. This new company allows the alliance to react in a targeted way to the technical requirements of European industry. 4-Labs initial marketing focus has been on the UK, Spain and Italy. In the longer term, the partners would like to expand their activities to include the EU’s new member states. 4-Labs’ headquarters is managed in Geneva by two experienced HTA staff members. André Perret, previously Vice President Strategic Relations at CSEM, is the Managing Director of 4-Labs and David Holden, previously employed at CEA, is the Business Development Director.

The HTA partners receive funding from local and federal authorities in Germany, as well as from the European Commission. This means that they are best placed to establish themselves as a leading research alliance in the field of microelectronics and to use their varied competences to build an efficient European research network.



Dr. André Perret
Phone +41 32 720-5347




Hughes Metras
Phone +33 438 7822-49


Dr. André Perret
Phone +41 32 720-5347


Prof. Dr. Hubert Lakner
Phone +49 351 8823-110


llkka Suni
Phone +358 20 722-6300