Micron Joins IMEC's (sub-)32nm Research Program

IMEC, Europe’s leading independent nanoelectronics and nanotechnology research institute, announces that Micron Technology Inc., one of the world’s largest companies focused on memory, storage and imaging semiconductor products, joined IMEC’s (sub)-32nm CMOS research platform as core partner. Micron will also participate within IMEC’s advanced Flash memory program.

“We are excited that Micron joins both our core and advanced Flash memory program. Up to now, IMEC’s (sub)-32nm CMOS research program focused mainly on logic with SRAM as demonstrator cell. Our program is now expanded with one of the world’s leading memory and imaging companies;” said Gilbert Declerck, President and CEO of IMEC. “We are looking forward to an extensive, long-term partnership with Micron and are convinced that the know-how and expertise of Micron will be of great value for our global platform.”

“We believe the technology challenges facing our industry today are best addressed by an approach which includes sharing broad-range, basic research to help efficiently focus valuable internal resources on core development, said Scott DeBoer, Micron’s director of process development. “IMEC provides a proven environment for accomplishing the necessary long range research in many of our areas of interest. We are very pleased to engage in this strategic partnership, which will help enable us to continue delivering the world’s most innovative memory and imaging technology to our customers.”

With Micron joining IMEC’s core program, nine of the world’s leading IC manufacturers or foundries – Infineon, Intel, Matsushita/Panasonic, Micron, Philips, Samsung, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments and TSMC – collaborate in IMEC’s state-of-the-art 300mm research facilities to conquer the ITRS challenges for the (sub)-32nm node.

Recently, important milestones have been achieved within IMEC’s 300mm research facility. The installation of the back-end-of-line equipment was finished beginning July, with first full-flow lots being processed. Interconnect R&D for the 32nm node has commenced on 300mm and first results are expected early Q4 2006.

At present, some programs are shifting focus to better deal with the challenges for the 32nm technology node. The advanced litho program runs hyper-NA immersion, double-patterning immersion and EUV lithography in parallel. In the front-end program major breakthroughs have been achieved on the use of fully-silicided gates (FUSI); metal-inserted poly gates (MIPS) will become the point of emphasis for the coming year. The interconnection program studies now low-k materials with k value lower than 2.5.

About Micron
Micron Technology, Inc., is one of the world’s leading providers of advanced semiconductor solutions. Through its worldwide operations, Micron manufactures and markets DRAMs, NAND flash memory, CMOS image sensors, other semiconductor components, and memory modules for use in leading-edge computing, consumer, networking and mobile products. Micron’s common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the MU symbol.

About IMEC
IMEC is a world-leading independent research center in nanoelectronics and nanotechnology. Its research focuses on the next generations of chips and systems, and on the enabling technologies for ambient intelligence. IMEC’s research bridges the gap between fundamental research at universities and technology development in industry. Its unique balance of processing and system know-how, intellectual property portfolio, state-of-the-art infrastructure and its strong network of companies, universities and research institutes worldwide position IMEC as a key partner for shaping technologies for future systems.

As an expansion of its wireless autonomous microsystems research, IMEC has created a legal entity in the Netherlands. Stichting IMEC Nederland runs activities at the Holst Centre, an independent R&D institute that develops generic technologies and technology platforms for autonomous wireless transducer solutions and systems-in-foil.

IMEC is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has representatives in the US, China and Japan. Its staff of more than 1450 people includes more than 500 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2005, its revenue was EUR 197 million.