Matsushita Becomes Core Partner of IMEC's Sub-45 nm Research Platform

3/9/2004 - IMEC, a leading independent nanoelectronics and nanotechnology research center, announced that Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd., one of Japan's leading integrated device manufacturers, has boosted its collaboration with IMEC by joining IMEC's sub-45 nm research platform as a core partner.

In 2003, IMEC launched a centralized research platform to develop sub-45nm process technologies in line with the semiconductor technology roadmap. This research platform allows companies to collaborate during the research phase and reduce individual risk and costs, while deriving results more quickly by working together in a state-of-the-art facility.

Within this sub-45nm research platform, IMEC brings together leading semiconductor manufacturers, material and equipment suppliers to collaborate on advanced process module and device research, targeting technology generations two to three nodes ahead of state-of-the-art IC production.

The signing of the core partnership agreement by Matsushita marks the beginning of a new phase, following a successful collaboration with IMEC on the development and implementation of high-k gate stacks for the (sub)-65 nm node, which started in 2002. By becoming a core partner, Matsushita will play an active role in implementing and monitoring the sub-45 nm research programs at IMEC, gaining an early insight in breakthrough research and a fundamental understanding in each area.

Today, six IDMs have already agreed to be a core member in IMEC's sub-45 nm silicon research programs and negotiations are ongoing with several others. The research programs include:

IMEC's strategic alliance with ASML (including the recently announced collaboration on 193 nm liquid immersion lithography) and partnerships with several leading equipment manufacturers will guarantee that research will be performed on the latest industrial process tools. To this end, IMEC began construction of a 300 mm clean room last year, which will be ready for equipment installation this spring.

"We are very pleased that one of the leading Japanese IDMs, Matsushita, with excellent in-house R&D expertise, has become a core partner within our sub-45nm silicon research platform," said Prof. Gilbert Declerck, President and CEO of IMEC. "Based on our excellent experience with Matsushita in the collaboration that started in 2002, we are looking forward to broaden our partnership to the complete set of our sub-45 nm silicon research programs.

"This extension of our research platform in Japan is an important step towards the further globalization of IMEC's sub-45 nm research platform. By bringing together European, Korean, US and now Japanese semiconductor manufacturers as well, a worldwide consortium with adequate critical mass has been formed to collaborate on the most advanced research to stay in tune with the semiconductor technology roadmap, which is essential for this global semiconductor industry."

"Matsushita anticipates to gain advanced knowledge of the most important technologies for the sub-45 nm nodes through the research," said Mr. Yukio Furuta, Vice President of Matsushita's Semiconductor Company. "By collaborating as a core partner within IMEC's sub-45 nm research platform, we can accelerate the development of process and device technologies for the sub-45 nm nodes."

About IMEC
IMEC is a world leading independent research center in nanoelectronics and nanotechnology. Its research focuses on the next-generation of chips and systems, and on the enabling technologies for ambient intelligence. IMEC's research bridges the gap between fundamental research at universities and technology development in industry. Its unique balance of processing and system know-how, intellectual property portfolio, state-of-the-art infrastructure and a strong network of companies, universities and research institutes worldwide, positions IMEC as a key partner with which to develop and improve technologies for future systems.

IMEC is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium and has representatives in the US, China and Japan. Its staff of more than 1300 people includes over 380 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2003, its revenues were EUR 145 million. Further information on IMEC can be found on

About Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., best known for its Panasonic brand name, is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products for a wide range of consumer, business, and industrial needs.

Based in Osaka, Japan, the Company recorded consolidated sales of US$61.68 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2003. Matsushita's shares are listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, New York, Euronext Amsterdam and Frankfurt stock exchanges. For more information, visit the Matsushita website at

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