USA - In conjunction with SEMICON West and ITF US, imec (www.imec.be) made several announcements that it will enable increased innovation and support R&D efforts to drive additional advancement in the nanoelectronics industry. This includes:
• 450mm clean room development—the Flemish government will invest in imec’s 100 million euro 450mm clean room infrastructure. Projected to open in 2015, the 450mm clean room will enable imec to support its partners with cutting-edge research on (sub)-10nm devices that will play a vital role in future ICT, healthcare and energy solutions. The transition to 450mm is essential for the advancement of powerful and cheap ICs. Imec also collaborated with world-leading equipment suppliers, such as KLA-Tencor, to install 450mm tools on-site to fuel R&D.
• Demonstrate nanophotonics components on 300mm silicon photonics wafers using optical lithography—imec achieved the world-first realization of functional sub-100nm photonics components with optical lithography on 300mm silicon photonics wafer technology. It demonstrated the lowest propagation loss ever reported in silicon wire waveguides using 193nm immersion lithography. The research institute also patterned simpler and more efficient fiber couplers. These latest achievements are critical toward bringing Si photonics in line with CMOS industry standards and future manufacturing highly integrated components, like next-generation short-reach interconnects.
• SK Hynix research agreement—imec’s extended collaboration with SK Hynix will help generate continued growth in memory and logic devices, advanced interconnects and 3D integration. A key partner in imec’s CMOS R&D program, SK Hynix designers will gain early technology insight to help develop high-bandwidth optical interconnects for future systems. Both will continue to collaborate on advanced lithography to address EUV challenges and on next-generation, non-volatile memory processes.