LEUVEN, Belgium--IMEC late on Monday disclosed that it is setting up a 300-mm "silicon research foundry" fab and a "research platform" to develop new and key process technologies for future chip production.
IMEC is targeting the R&D fab "to perform advanced process research at least two generations ahead of manufacturing." The first important step has been achieved with the decision of the local government to grant funding of $37.18 million for the construction of the 300-mm clean room, according to IMEC, an R&D organization based in Leuven.
"This funding is a strong signal from the Flemish Government to stimulate further investment by international industrial partners and the European Commission in this new initiative," said Gilbert Declerck, president and CEO of IMEC, in a statement. "With a state-of-the-art 300-mm research platform, we and our partners will be ready to tackle the challenges of the next decade," he said.
IMEC plans to set up a centralized 300-mm silicon research platform. The goal of the research platform is to demonstrate novel device architectures and to perform research on process steps and modules.
It will be built around the world's most advanced lithographyclusters such as 157-nm and extreme ultraviolet (EUV) technologies.
IMEC will continue its current business model, based on a sharing of cost, risk, talent and IP. Strategic long-term partnerships with a core set of equipment suppliers and major IC manufacturers will be set up to carry the investments.
This new lab will also allow to free space in the current 200-mm clean room to perform research in a broad range of nanotechnology domains.