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Fabless companies extend research programs at imec

26 May 2011 | By Mark Osborne | News > Wafer Processing

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Several fabless semiconductor firms such as Qualcomm, Nvidia and Altera are working ever closer with imec on future challenges for semiconductor devices, especially in the fields of design and process integration.

imec and Qualcomm are broadening research on 3D technologies to identify system design impacts of 3D and advanced process technologies including device structures, interconnects and lithography for the sub-20nm node. Qualcomm has participated in the imec industrial affiliation program (IIAP) since 2008.

“We are excited to have Qualcomm continue to broaden its relationship with imec after 3 years of successful collaboration,” said Luc Van den hove, President and CEO of imec. “With INSITE we connect the technology research and design research communities and are expanding our ecosystem to include fabless and fab-lite companies. This offering helps companies anticipate new technologies so that they may design more advanced systems and applications and bring them to the market faster.”

INSITE makes information from imec’s advanced process technology research programs available in formats that can be used by product designers for early assessment of the potential of those technologies for product roadmaps.

“With consumers migrating from PC platforms to mobile devices and the market for smartphones growing rapidly, the demand for increasingly sophisticated mobile capabilities continues to expand,” said Steve Mollenkopf, executive vice president and group president of Qualcomm. “Through our collaboration with imec, Qualcomm expects to gain insights into the benefits of 3D integration with advanced CMOS technology nodes that will help us provide increasing levels of integration on future mobile chipsets.”

Nvidia is also joining imec’s core CMOS program as an INSITE member to get early insight in the impact of future process and design technology options on its next-generation products that will need to designed for lithography implications for the sub-20nm node.

Imec has also announced that it has entered into a three-year research collaboration with Altera Corporation to develop advanced CMOS scaling technologies. The initial collaboration between imec and Altera will focus on the development of 3-D process technologies targeting Altera’s product families.

"Our ongoing research and development efforts in 3-D stacked silicon technology are a natural evolution of our product development," said Misha Burich, senior vice president of research and development at Altera Corporation. "The information we receive through imec’s advanced CMOS scaling program complements our own internal developments which provides us with valuable insight as we execute on our product roadmaps."

In other news, imec has partnered for the first time with Wipro Technologies, the Global Information Technology, Consulting and Outsourcing business of Wipro Limited to establish imec India in Bangalore.

The new partners have created a joint initiative to co-innovate and build next generation intelligent systems, called Applied Research in Intelligent Systems Engineering (ARISE). By bringing together an experienced team of system designers, user designers, process, software and system architects, this initiative aims to develop nanoelectronics and NEMS-(Nano Electro Mechanical Systems) based solutions for emerging markets like India.

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