System Circuit Design Centre of Excellence to be established in Finland
The Chips Act Initiative, which began last year, aims to increase the EU’s global market share in semiconductor production to reach at least 20 percent by 2030. The Centre of Excellence would support Europe’s self-sufficiency goal by strengthening semiconductor value chain especially in chip design.
To further enhance Finnish know-how in the area of System Circuit Design, the semiconductor industry group at Technology Industries of Finland, together with partner companies, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the cities of Tampere and Espoo, have also proposed the launch of a national ‘Chips from Finland’ programme.
Developing system circuit expertise to the level required in the future can only be achieved through robust industry and academic cooperation. The development processes are complex and extensive, requiring expertise from different fields and the unique synergy they will generate are needed.
Strong domestic SoC expertise
In Finland, Tampere and Aalto Universities and the University of Oulu offer educational programmes on system-on-chip (SoC) design. Most Digital Designers in Finland are trained at Tampere, and the industry in the region is a hub for circuit design. The legacy of SoC design in Tampere is strongly influenced by Nokia, which also has SoC operations in Oulu and Espoo. Aalto University, the University of Oulu and VTT have expertise in the design of radio frequency, mixed and measurement circuits.
“System-on-chip (SoC) development is very important to Nokia because today's mobile networks rely on efficient chips. Our shared objective is to establish a Centre of Excellence in SoC development in Finland to further broaden and deepen the ecosystem collaboration already happening in Tampere. It will also serve to raise awareness of the importance of SoC development in Finland and beyond,” says Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks and Finland Country Manager at Nokia.
An example of successful development work is the ecosystem project SoC Hub – established in 2020 – where Tampere University, together with Nokia and a broader consortium of businesses, are already developing a third system circuit containing hundreds of millions of transistors. There is now a desire to benchmark SoC Hub’s successful operating model nationally and soon internationally.
“Through the Centre of Excellence, it will be possible to continue the co-creation work launched at the SoC Hub on a larger scale and strengthen the prerequisites for developing and utilising SoC for a growing number of companies in order to strengthen their competitiveness,” says Professor Timo Hämäläinen from Tampere University.
Other partners in the Chips from Finland programme are also invited to join the development work. National research cooperation has already been expanded by applying for Academy of Finland funding for an eight-year Flagship Programme called Microelectronics Center of Finland together with Aalto University, the University of Oulu and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.
Director, Research and Innovation Services
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pauli.kuosmanen [at] tuni.fi
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