[L’instant tech] With its nano-print, Hummink desires to nest in chip factories

Technology

After raising 5 million euros in finances on the quit of 2022, the start-up from the Ecole Normale Supérieure Hummink wants to locate an area in semiconductor factories. His weapon? A fountain pen able to depositing remember on the nanometer scale. And to bring together chips with a complex structure.

three-D printing is going to scale… lower. With its generation based on “the smallest fountain pen within the international” , inside the phrases of its co-founder Pascal Boncenne, the Hummink begin-up is banking on “nanoscale additive manufacturing, or nano-printing” to make its nest . inside the microelectronics industry. A fundraiser of 5 million euros completed at the quit of 2022 should assist it flow up a tools and locate a place in electronics production factories . to move beyond the prototyping device that it already gives to investigate laboratories, together with Cnes and CEA-Leti.

Coming from the chemistry laboratories of the Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS), the nugget co-based with researcher Amin M’Barki bases its technology on capillarity: by means of strolling drops on a small glass thread, its gadget is able to ” deposit all styles of materials on all styles of surfaces, with excellent freedom of form” , relates the associate.

A era already popular with Cnes and CEA-Leti
With a precision of some microns, the printer isn’t always supposed to fabricate one after the other the transistors of an electronic chip. For this, the lithography strategies already validated by way of the industry are each faster and more unique . “currently synthetic chips have a very high density of transistors , recollects Pascal Boncenne. one of the challenges is to hyperlink the chips on digital forums, that is tailor-made tough through the density. that is called packaging : that is wherein our technology comes in.” each precise and bendy, Hummink’s technology is offered by means of its co-founder as”the missing hyperlink between lithography and InkJet packaging generation, just like computer printers, which has restricted resolution” .

launched in 2020 and based totally on a patent filed two years in advance, the begin-up is already generating a prototyping system for researchers. “it’s a demonstrator that makes it possible to supply prototypes, used especially by way of the Cnes to increase c498ca6ac814ba2a0e6fddbf2ba4d831 digital interconnections for aerospace or through the CEA-Leti within the discipline of semiconductors” , relates Pascal Boncenne.

It now stays to “move to the industrial, manufacturing stage” , says Pascal Boncenne. In a quarter where the boundaries to access are high – with production system costing several hundred million euros – it’s far tough to locate a place. “We do now not have vocation to create device , affirms besides the entrepreneur. we are going to marketplace licenses to equipment producers who’re already nicely hooked up a good way to integrate them into their packaging machines.”

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imperative R&D bricks
beyond the development of its first device, the employer has given itself missions. First, signal contracts to integrate its era into commercial machines and reveal its robustness. “we’re in discussion to integrate our fountain pen within the manufacture of screens, to accurate certain imperfections by way of redoing the interconnections at the end of the chain” , relates Pascal Boncenne.

The start-up additionally intends to place the bundle in studies and improvement, in particular to increase the productiveness of its generation. “we’re focused on small and medium series markets, then finally mass production” , recalls the founder. For this, the corporation intends to parallelize its technique, by using juxtaposing “loads, even lots of fountain pens on the same time” , he develops. It also is based on gadget mastering which, by means of studying the facts gleaned throughout manufacturing, may be capable of manipulate exceptional and save you defects.

“these two bricks of R&D can be key ,” says Pascal Boncenne. Key to responding to the dual fashion that dictates the evolution of microelectronics: the miniaturization of transistors and the growing complexity of chips. “The industry is accomplishing size limits, so it makes it more complex by means of stacking layers of three-dimensional transistors ,” he observes. This increases questions of packaging to make the interconnection among the chips. The possibility for Hummink to grow to be integral.