3/10/2004 - Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) and IMEC, one of the world's leading independent research centers in nanoelectronics, signed an agreement that extends Philips’ access to IMEC’s advanced research facilities and expertise until the end of 2008. This new agreement, which closely follows Philips’ decision last year to become a core partner in IMEC's sub-45nm CMOS research program, will allow Philips through its Philips Research Leuven organization to further extend joint research with IMEC of specialized semiconductor processes, as well as to engage in joint research and development of advanced CMOS technologies in preparation of continued process development with Philips' Crolles2 Alliance partners.
For leading consumer electronics companies like Philips, having access to state-of-the-art semiconductor technology is the key to delivering ever-richer experiences to consumers in areas such as multimedia entertainment and communications. However, in addition to the baseline CMOS processes used to produce the powerful digital chips at the heart of these applications, companies also need special semiconductor processes to produce chips that can handle associated tasks such as wireless communications, power amplification and display driving. Philips’ commitment to differentiating itself in the marketplace by providing total system solutions rather than component parts means that development of these special semiconductor processes is as important to the company as having state-of-the-art CMOS.
"It is thanks to our previous collaboration with IMEC that important differentiators, such as our world-beating RF BiCMOS processes, our highly effective non-volatile embedded memory solutions and our best-in-class TrenchMOS devices, have been made possible," said Theo Claasen, executive vice president Technology and Strategy, Philips Semiconductors. "This new agreement with IMEC therefore represents an important part of our strategy to keep Philips in a highly competitive position at the forefront of the semiconductor industry."
"This new agreement with Philips is based on the excellent relationship we have built up over recent years. This collaboration between a leading research center and a major player in semiconductors and consumer electronics brings a lot of value to both partners. It helps IMEC to remain focused on process technologies enabling globally competitive applications. This agreement further increases IMEC's critical mass on process technology and therefore strengthens its position as a global research foundry in nanoelectronics," said Prof. Gilbert Declerck, president and CEO of IMEC.
The agreement, which will run for five years, replaces an existing agreement that was scheduled to finish by mid 2005. It not only guarantees Philips a unique level of access to and interaction with the expertise of IMEC’s research scientists. It also allows Philips to use state-of-the-art equipment within IMEC’s existing and newly built clean-room facilities to develop process steps on both 200 mm and 300 mm wafers, thereby providing high quality input to Philips’ advanced production fabs. Philips' past collaboration with IMEC has already seen several new process technologies being transferred to Philips wafer fabs in East Fishkill (USA), Nijmegen (The Netherlands) and Hazel Grove (United Kingdom).
Philips now works with IMEC on three levels – (i) as a core partner in IMEC's sub 45-nm CMOS research program and in JRP with IMEC on a 45 nm CMOS Research Program (in preparation for continued semiconductor process development within the Philips/Motorola/STMicroelectronics Crolles2 Alliance); (ii) as an individual partner with IMEC in the development of Philips-specific special process technologies; and (iii) as a valued contributor to discussions over the future direction of semiconductor research at IMEC.
This unique level of cooperation between Philips and IMEC, together with collaborative research undertaken by leading technical universities in the area, further strengthens the Eindhoven-Leuven corridor as one of the world's centers of excellence for semiconductor research.
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 www.imec.be.
About Royal Philips Electronics
Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands is one of the world's biggest electronics companies and Europe's largest, with sales of EUR 29 billion in 2003. It is a global leader in color television sets, lighting, electric shavers, medical diagnostic imaging and patient monitoring, and one-chip TV products. Its 164,500 employees in more than 60 countries are active in the areas of lighting, consumer electronics, domestic appliances, semiconductors, and medical systems. Philips is quoted on the NYSE (symbol: PHG), Frankfurt, Amsterdam and other stock exchanges. News from Philips is located at: www.semiconductors.philips.com.
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