Würth Elektronik starts APPLAUSE

An ECSEL Joint Undertaking project – focuses on developing advanced packaging for photonics, optics and electronics for low cost manufacturing

Würth Elektronik is part of a consortium of 31 European electronics packaging, optics and photonics key players, leading equipment suppliers and testing experts launched a new project, “Advanced packaging for photonics, optics and electronics for low cost manufacturing in Europe,” simply called APPLAUSE. The project fosters the European semiconductor value chain by building new tools, methods and processes for high volume manufacturing. The 34M€ total budget for the three-year project is co-funded by Horizon 2020 and national funding agencies and industries, as a part of the Electronics Components and Systems for European Leadership Joint Undertaking (ECSEL JU). The APPLAUSE project is an innovation activity (IA) of the European Commission in the field of electronics research.

The APPLAUSE project is coordinated by ICOS Vision Systems N.V. (Belgium), a division of KLA Corporation, and has partners from 11 countries, including 10 large enterprises, 11 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and 10 research and technology organisations. “In addition to achieving the overall goals of APPLAUSE, Würth Elektronik has focused on further developments in the areas of electronic packaging and individual

Sensor systems”, explains Dr. Jan Kostelnik, Head of Research and Development at Würth Elektronik Circuit Board Technology (CBT). The topics will be piloted in six use cases, each having an industrial end user.

The strategic, high level objectives of APPLAUSE include amongst other things developing new tools, methods and processes for automated mass manufacturing and advanced packaging for the semiconductor, optics and photonics industries. Furthermore, these six specific use cases will introduce innovative packaging and production concepts to the optics and photonics industry. The aim is to increase both the global market share and the competitiveness of the semiconductor industry in Europe, particularly in the sectors of production equipment, packaging and assembly.

“We are really pleased that with our professional expertise in the area of PCB-based systems utilising TWINflex®, TWINflex®-Stretch technologies and Wire-Bonding we are able to contribute to the international research project APPLAUSE”, says Dr. Jan Kostelnik. “Today’s consumers demand smaller devices, more functionality and outstanding reliability. We would like to continue to focus on these demands in the future and therefore bring our many years of experience to the project APPLAUSE in order to develop innovative customer solutions”, Dr. Jan Kostelnik continues.

Würth Elektronik participates in two of the six use cases. The first use case has the goal to enable cost-effective thermal imaging devices. The second use case deals with the development of heart-monitoring systems in the form of a stretchable plaster.

The expected project impacts may include an increase in revenue for the project partners, exceeding 300M€, by 2025. The new technologies developed in the project have the potential for increased market share with additional access to new market segments for the industrial partners.