European SILVER project aims to further cut semiconductor industry’s energy and water consumption footprint by 10%

May 21, 2012 // By Julien Happich
Thirteen semiconductor manufacturing companies in Europe have launched a European project to further cut their industry' energy and water consumption footprint by 10% , after already having reduced it by half over the last decade.

The project, called “Semiconductor Industry Leading towards Viable Energy Recovery” and codenamed SILVER, has a duration of 3 years and targets the development and assessment of innovative and comprehensive approaches to reduce the environmental impact of semiconductor manufacturing processes. The project focuses on the development of innovative solutions for the reduction of water and energy consumption, which will result also in the mitigation of greenhouse effect.

“Reducing the consumption of critical resources and, more generally, reducing the impact on the environment not only allows the industry to meet European policies of environment protection,” said Francesca Illuzzi, Senior Manager, Environment of Micron Semiconductor Italia and project coordinator. ”It also demonstrates our commitment to environmental sustainability and our strong belief that it produces positive economical and social returns in the medium term”.

SILVER is the effort of a multi-disciplinary pan-European consortium that includes semiconductor companies, equipment manufacturers, research centres and providers of fab information services. It is led by Micron Semiconductor Italia and involves Air Liquide Electronics Systems, Alpha San Ignacio Pharma, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, ASM Europe, SolMateS, TNO, VDL-ETG, IMEC, Micron Technology Italia, ON Semiconductor and STMicroelectronics. The project is supported by grants from Belgium, France, Italy, The Netherlands and Spain, as well as by the ENIAC Joint Undertaking (JU). Andreas Wild, the executive Director of the ENIAC JU, said:

“While the microchips enable energy-efficient solutions in all application areas, semiconductor industry strives to improve its own impact on critical resources and on the environment. SILVER is an excellent example of innovation responding to societal challenges by collaborative research in technology within the ENIAC JU programme”.

The ENIAC Joint Undertaking (JU) is a public-private partnership on nanoelectronics bringing together the ENIAC member States, the European Union, and AENEAS (an association representing European R&D actors in this field). It coordinates research activities through competitive calls for proposals to enhance the further integration and miniaturization of devices, and increase their functionalities.