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11 July 2016

Imec extends global R&D footprint with opening of imec Florida

At its annual Imec Technology Forum (ITF) USA on 11 July, a half-day conference at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis hotel held in conjunction with the SEMICON West trade show and supported by industry association Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI), nanoelectronics and photovoltaics research centre imec of Leuven, Belgium has announced the opening of imec Florida in Osceola, FL, USA, a new entity focusing on photonics and high-speed electronics IC design.

Imec Florida kicked off with the signing of a collaboration agreement with the University of Central Florida (UCF), Osceola County and the International Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing Research (ICAMR), that is setting up fab facilities for the development and production of III-V-on-silicon solutions for a range of applications including sensors, high-speed electronics and photonics.

Imec Florida will be established as a design center facilitating collaboration between imec's headquarters in Leuven and US-based semiconductor and system companies, universities, and research institutes. The initial focus will be R&D on high-speed electronics and photonics solutions, starting with IC design research for a broad set of semiconductor-based solutions such as terahertz (THz) and LIDAR (light detection and ranging) sensors, imagers, and a broad range of sensors. It will also provide IC design needs that will be driving the ICAMR manufacturing research. Through imec Florida, imec's design, prototyping and low-volume production service (imec IC-link) will provide the US market with low-cost access to advanced foundry services, helping entrepreneurs (in industry and academia) to design innovative products and get them to market.

Funding for imec Florida will come from Osceola County and the University of Central Florida. Through future strategic partnerships, the new center aims to employ about 10 scientists and engineers by the end of 2016 and to increase this to 100 researchers in the next five years. Heading up the facility as general manager will be imec's vice president Bert Gyselinckx who previously served as general manager at imec in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, and helped to co-invent many technologies deployed by innovative semiconductor and consumer electronics companies.

"As the US semiconductor market continues to strengthen with semiconductor manufacturing, equipment, materials and system innovation, we are extremely pleased to collaborate with partner organizations in Florida, and see Osceola County in the Orlando region as an interesting location to drive the next phase of imec's growth and innovation," said imec's president & CEO Luc Van den hove. "Together with industrial and academic partners, we want to develop sustainable solutions and technology to accelerate innovation and stimulate economic growth within Osceola County and the State of Florida," he added.

"Imec's international prestige gives us the opportunity to leverage its standing in a field that is growing exponentially in order to recruit more partners and funding for our work at the new Design Center and the Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center (FAMRC)," commented Osceola County Commission chairwoman Viviana Janer. "The relationships and people that imec brings to our operation are tangible ways that Osceola County's 5-year, $15m investment will be more than re-paid… The new Design Center is going to capture the attention of everyone in this field, thereby ensuring maximum utilization and value of the FAMRC," she added.

"The imec Design Center is the funnel that will fill ICAMR with high-value manufacturing opportunities and we will work closely with them to make sure our capabilities tightly align with their technology direction," stated ICAMR's CEO Chester Kennedy. 

Tags: Imec GaN-on-Si Photonic integration of III-Vs on silicon

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