Graphenea recently announced that its graphene foundry service (GFAB), launched in 2019, will be getting an upgrade. Graphenea Foundry said that it will start a Multi-Project Wafer run service from January 2021, and it is currently speaking with customers interested in this first run.
Graphenea Foundry follows a pure-play foundry model, in which it manufactures graphene-based devices for its customers and third parties under request. Nevertheless, the factory also makes usable plug&play graphene devices from scratch, thus covering all aspects of device manufacturing. The staple product and the starting point for satisfying most customer needs is the GFET, the graphene field effect transistor. These readily-available devices are said to be ideal for early experiments and proof-of-concept measurements.
However, a growing demand for customized graphene-based devices at low production volumes prompts labs, start-ups and SMEs to require a way to develop their own technologies and prototypes in a cost- and time-effective manner, without incurring large expenses or long turnaround times. To fill this need, Graphenea will launch a mask-sharing scheme which will allow the parties to share the cost of device manufacturing.
Starting next January, services will be available from 40x40 mm2 footprints, with a possibility to increase the size for further device variations or copies. Each processed 10x10 mm2 die will cost 650€. Graphene patterning, metallization and polymeric encapsulation are also available, with bimonthly runs which allow the customer to have their prototypes ready with a very fast turnaround time. The possibility of customization at such low volumes will enable customers to prototype in a much more efficient way their new graphene-based technologies.
Graphenea Foundry also offers fully customized integration at the wafer scale under its GFAB service. Here, the Foundry offers a full range of processes, with the addition of ALD encapsulation and additional metallization schemes. The minimum order is 60x 10x10 mm2 dies and the price per die is ≈160€, depending on process complexity. The Foundry can currently manufacture up to 100 devices per day.
Graphenea forecasts that by 2024 it will be able to produce 100,000 5x5mm2 dies per day at a price of 6-7€ per die. Such low cost and large volumes dramatically lower the entry barrier for graphene technologies, enabling many applications based on sensing and photonics to finally reach the market, disrupting fields such as telecommunications and healthcare, where the potential benefit is immediate.
Foundry customers could benefit from the unique vertical integration that Graphenea offers, handling graphene growth, transfer, processing and dicing under one roof. Vertical integration in a single factory eases the logistics of the process, which in turn leads to reduced lead times, better process consistency, and reduced cost. The proposed upgraded service could thus be a key step towards real-life market use of advanced graphene devices.