IMEC's Europractice Offers TSMC Technologies to European Companies, Academia

IMEC, Europe’s largest independent research center in the field of nanoelectronics and nanotechnology, and TSMC, the world-leading semiconductor foundry, today announced the extension of IMEC’s Europractice service with the offering of TSMC’s technologies. Subsequent to the close collaboration between IMEC and TSMC on advanced technology research and development (TSMC is a core partner within IMEC’s (sub-)32nm CMOS research platform) both companies will offer TSMC’s Cybershuttle(SM) Multi Project Wafer (MPW) platform for prototyping and production services to European companies and academia.

Initially the offering will include TSMC’s 0.25µm, 0.18µm and 0.13µm CMOS general-purpose technologies. These technologies include mixed-signal, RF and embedded Flash options. With this offering European-based companies and academia with low-volume manufacturing needs, such as universities, research centers, start-up companies, and companies with small niche markets will get supported access to TSMC technologies.

Europractice IC Service, coordinated by IMEC, offers companies ASIC services to help them bring their products to market quickly and cost-effectively, including easy technology access, layout service, prototyping on TSMC’s Cybershuttles, small to medium volumes, assembly and test.

“Partnering with IMEC is an important step in TSMC’s on-going effort to support and to grow the European fabless semiconductor industry. By combining TSMC’s technology and manufacturing services with IMEC’s engineering, logistics and supply chain resources, European fabless semiconductor companies gain access to a secure supply for low volume or early phase production. We are very impressed with the efficiency and professionalism with which IMEC handles this new service, and we look forward to a long and successful partnership with IMEC and its customer,” said Kees den Otter, president, TSMC Europe.

Carl Das, Director of the Europractice IC Service, said, “We are very happy to work together with TSMC. With TSMC’s rich technology portfolio offering, Europractice shows its continuous commitment to provide the best solutions to academia and smaller companies.”

About Europractice IC Service
Europractice IC Service was set up in 1995 as part of a project by the European Commission to stimulate use by European industry and universities of advanced IC technologies. The Europractice service, run by a consortium headed by IMEC, offers industry and academia a fully supported, affordable route to IC design, prototyping, and small and medium volume production. Annually, about 500 designs are prototyped and 100 small volume projects are manufactured at leading IC manufacturers.

About IMEC
IMEC is heading the consortium that runs the Europractice IC Service. 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 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.

About TSMC
TSMC is the world’s largest dedicated semiconductor foundry, providing the industry’s leading process technology and the foundry industry’s largest portfolio of process-proven library, IP, design tools and reference flows. The company operates two advanced twelve-inch wafer fabs, five eight-inch fabs and one six-inch wafer fab. TSMC also has substantial capacity commitments at its wholly owned subsidiaries, WaferTech and TSMC (Shanghai), and its joint venture fab, SSMC. TSMC is the first foundry to run 65nm customer design production wafers. Its corporate headquarters are in Hsinchu, Taiwan.