The nanoelectronics research center Imec in Leuven, Belgium has announced the opening of its new 300mm wafer cleanroom.
The addition of the 4000m2 new facility brings the total area of the facility’s research cleanrooms to 12,000m2. Imec is among the most advanced research facilities in the world dedicated to scaling IC technology below 7nm. The facility’s global partners include foundries, equipment and material suppliers, IDMs, and fabless and fablite companies.
The new cleanroom will feature advanced semiconductor processing equipment (including alfa and beta tools) that Imec intends to use to develop energy efficient ICs that are more powerful, better-performing, and cheaper. Such ICs are crucial for the Internet of Everything and a sustainable digital future.
The new facility complies with the semiconductor industry’s newest standards and provides additional space for the most advanced tools that could lead to innovations in new device and system concepts. Installations of the first tools began in January 2016. The new state-of-the-art 300mm cleanroom reportedly complements Imec’s other production facilities including its GaN-on-Si, Silicon photonics and MEMS pilot lines, and photovoltaic pilot-lines.
“Since our founding in 1984, Imec has become the world’s largest independent nanoelectronics research center with the highest industry commitment,” stated Luc Van den hove, president and CEO at Imec. “This success is the result of the unique combination of our broad international partner network, including the major global players of the semiconductor industry, top scientific and engineering talent, and Imec’s one of a kind infrastructure. The extension of our cleanroom provides our partners with the necessary resources for continued leading edge innovation and Imec’s success in the future within the local and global high-tech industry.”
M+W, a renowned contractor for large-scale high-tech infrastructure, constructed the clean room in 20 months. A reflecting facade from Architect Stéphane Beels helps integrate the building with the environment. imec invested a total in the building and equipment of the cleanroom of more than 1 billion euros. About 100 million euro funding came from the Flemish Government. More than 900 million euro investments came from joint R&D with Imec’s more than 90 industrial partners.