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Alchimer S.A., a provider of nanometric deposition technology for through-silicon vias (TSV), semiconductor interconnects, and other electronic applications, announced today that Panasonic Corporation (NYSE: PC) has become an equity investor in the company.
Funding has been facilitated by the Panasonic Venture Group, a Silicon Valley-based unit of global consumer electronics leader Panasonic R&D Company of America, which invests in companies that may present a technology-based advantage to Panasonic. Through its investments, Panasonic Venture Group champions technology partnerships between private companies and R&D units of Panasonic.
"Throughout the electronics supply chain, manufacturers are increasingly in need of high-quality nanometric metal films that can be mass-produced at low cost," said Patrick Suel, venture partner with Panasonic Venture Group. "We see this at the wafer level, on substrates, and in 3D packaging, which is emerging as an important technology to lower costs for future ICs and systems. We believe that Alchimer's nanometric films have tremendous potential to change the traditional cost-performance ratio at many points along the value chain."
Alchimer's breakthrough technology, electrografting (eG™), is an electrochemical process that enables the growth of extremely high quality polymer and metal thin films on both conducting and semiconducting surfaces. The company's deposition technology reduces overall cost of ownership for high-aspect-ratio TSV metallization by up to two-thirds compared to conventional dry processes, and shortens time to market.
In addition to electrografting, Alchimer has developed chemical grafting (cG™), a unique electroless process sequence that enables the growth of highly adherent, low-resistivity copper-diffusion barrier films on isolating surfaces through the formation of strong chemical bonds between the films.
"The Panasonic Venture Group is known for its investments in companies that present potential strategic competitive advantages to Panasonic, and we are very pleased to have them as an investor as we commercialize our technologies," said Steve Lerner, CEO of Alchimer. "We believe that electrografting offers substantial promise as an enabling technology for TSVs and 3D interconnects, which we expect to move quickly into high-volume production in the next few years."
The dollar amount of the investment and Panasonic Venture Group's equity holding were not disclosed.
Alchimer develops and markets innovative chemical formulations, processes and IP for the deposition of nanometric films used in semiconductor interconnects and 3D TSVs (through-silicon vias), as well as other applications in the electronics value chain. The company’s breakthrough technology, Electrografting (eG™), is an electrochemical-based process that enables the growth of very thin coatings, of various types, on both conducting and semiconducting surfaces. Based in Massy, France, Alchimer is a spin-off from the Commissariat ŕ l’Energie Atomique (CEA). Founded in 2001, it won the First National Award for the Creation of High Tech Companies from the French Minister of Research and Industry and is a Red Herring Top 100 European Company.
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