Imec opens new cleanroom serving the semiconductor industry

The building was constructed by contractor M+W

Imec has opened its new 300mm cleanroom. Photo: Imec

Belgian nanoelectronics research centre Imec has opened its new €1bn cleanroom, which was constructed by contractor M+W and completed in 20 months.

With this new 4,000m2 facility in Leuven, Imec’s state-of-the-art semiconductor research cleanrooms now total 12,000m2, and the organisation boasts one of the most advanced research facilities in the world dedicated to scaling integrated circuit (IC) technology beyond 7nm.

Imec says the new facility will enable it to maintain its global leading position as a nanoelectronics R&D centre serving the entire semiconductor manufacturing process.

Imec's global partners, including foundries, fabless and fablite companies, equipment and material suppliers, will benefit from advanced semiconductor processing equipment (including alfa and beta tools) to develop solutions for more powerful, high-performing, cheaper and energy-efficient ICs, which are crucial in the evolution of the 'Internet of Everything' and a sustainable digital future, the organisation said.

Extending the existing cleanroom, the new facility complies with the latest standards in the semiconductor industry, and provides additional space for the most advanced tools that will lead to innovations in new device and system concepts. Installations of the first tools began in January this year.

The extension of our cleanroom provides our partners with the necessary resources for continued leading edge innovation

The new 300mm cleanroom complements Imec’s other production facilities, including its bio-nanolabs, neuroelectronics labs, imaging and wireless and electronics test labs, photovoltaic pilot lines, and GaN-on-Si, Silicon photonics and MEMS pilot lines.

'Since our founding in 1984, Imec has become the world’s largest independent nanoelectronics research centre with the highest industry commitment,' said Luc Van den hove, President and CEO.

'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.'

The new cleanroom comprises a total investment (building and equipment) of more than €1bn of which €100m was provided by the Flemish Government and more than €900m from joint R&D with the leading players across the semiconductor industry, totalling more than 90 industrial partners.

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