IMEC Expands Research with Indian Semiconductor Companies, Institutes

IMEC, Europe’s leading independent nanoelectronics and nanotechnology research institute, engages to expand its R&D collaborations with Indian semiconductor companies and institutes. As a first step, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed on November 5 with SemIndia.

The company is planning to build a semiconductor fab in Hyderabad (India) and wants to take up research with IMEC on the next generations of semiconductor process technologies. Today, IMEC has also signed an MOU with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore to perform joint research on various nanoelectronics process steps.

IMEC’s initiative to strengthen its position on the Indian semiconductor market comes in the wake of India’s plans to give a major boost to the semiconductor industry by expanding nanotechnology R&D at the international science and technology centers and by setting up modern semiconductor fabrication facilities.

SemIndia intends to set up a semiconductor foundry in 2007 with production ramp up beginning of 2009 and with IMEC as a strategic fab technology research partner. Initial collaboration would focus on developing foundry-compatible 130nm and 90nm CMOS processes for logic and mixed-signal products for e.g. the cellular market. To this end, SemIndia will build on IMEC’s long-term expertise in developing and transferring advanced CMOS processes. In a second phase, SemIndia intends to collaborate with IMEC on the 65nm and 45nm semiconductor processes.

The Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore has recently set up an international nano-science centre for R&D projects in nanotechnology applications. IMEC and the IISc intend to perform joint research on new materials for (sub-)45nm CMOS technologies as well as nanotechnology for the post-CMOS era. In addition, RF-CMOS and MEMS have been identified as potential joint research topics. PhD students and researchers will be exchanged and the use of facilities will be shared between the two

“We are excited that only a few months after initiating our plans to strengthen our position on the Indian market, we have signed two MOUs with high-level organizations. This proves that our research programs ahead of industrial needs can make an important contribution to the fast evolution of the Indian semiconductor market,” said Gilbert Declerck, President and CEO of IMEC. “India’s booming economy and microelectronics market, its large, highly educated workforce and sound legal framework for intellectual property protection form the basic ingredients for successful R&D collaborations with mutual benefits.”

The MOUs were signed in the presence of Belgium’s Prime Minister Verhofstadt, who is traveling the country the entire week to enhance collaborations between Belgium and India. IMEC acknowledges the support of Flanders Investment and Trade in India.

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. “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.