IMEC Opens New Nanoelectronics Laboratory

5/10/2004 - IMEC inaugurated its new nanoelectronics laboratory in the presence of the Flemish Minister for Science and Technological Innovation, Mr. Dirk Van Mechelen, of the Belgian Minister of Economy; Mrs. Fientje Moerman, of the European Research Commissioner; Mr. Philippe Busquin; and about 160 national and international partners.

IMEC used the celebration to announce a new core research partner in its sub-45nm research platform, and excellent financial results for its fiscal year 2003. IMEC again succeeded in achieving an increase in revenue, proving IMEC's sound growth dynamics since its founding in 1984. The announcements illustrate the success of IMEC's business model to globally tackle the increasing intellectual and financial complexities of technology.

The new nanoelectronics research facility will enable IMEC to maintain its world-leading role in research in nano-scaled technologies. Started under construction in early 2003, the facility represents a total investment of 84 million euro. Of that total, 37.2 million euro represents a grant from the local government, and the remaining 46.8 million was obtained as a loan, financially supported by the European Investment Bank (EIB), from Fortis Bank.

Situated adjacent to the existing IMEC campus, the new facility includes a three-level fabrication (ie, fab) structure, as well as an office accommodations for more than 400 people and a central utility building. The fab has a total work surface of 16,280 m2 and includes a plenum, a 3,200 m2 ball room-style cleanroom, with 2,200 m2 of space sitting on a vibration-controlled waffle table, a clean subfab and a utility fab. The cleanroom, suitable for full 300 mm wafer processing, is now ready for equipment installation.

"The presence of local officials, the European Commission and worldwide partners at the inauguration of our new facility proves the strong belief in IMEC's initiative to set up a centralized research platform for global nanoelectronics research," stated Prof. Gilbert Declerck, President and CEO of IMEC. "Our facility will strengthen the competitiveness of Flanders, Belgium and Europe by further developing high-tech know-how and will serve as a unique place where experts from research institutes, semiconductor companies, material and equipment suppliers around the world will jointly tackle the increasing technological complexities of the nanoelectronics era."

IMEC Financial Results
In 2003, IMEC achieved 6% higher revenues from contract research as compared to 2002, making up some 111 million euro. Of the total, 54% of the contract revenue comes from collaborations with international industry, 26% from collaborations with Flemish industry and the remainder comes from European Commission-, ESA- and local government-funded projects.

In the course of 2004, IMEC's total budget is expected to rise to approximately 160 million euro including a 34 million euro subsidy from the Government of Flanders.

IMEC's men power rose to 1300 in 2003, including some 380 guest researchers and industrial residents. IMEC's scientists again delivered top-level research with results recognized worldwide. Proof are the large number of submitted (62) and granted (61) patents; the publication of 1299 scientific papers and conference contributions, of which 847 were realized in collaboration with Flemish universities; the large number of invited papers (74) and the awards (12) that IMEC researchers received for the outstanding quality of their research, posters, scientific papers or theses.

"I'm very proud of our achievements in 2003. Our nanoelectronics research facility became a reality. Combined with the top-level research of our scientists, this will ensure our future as a center of excellence," said Prof. Gilbert Declerck. "With the celebration of IMEC's 20th anniversary, we are happy to announce that we have laid the foundations for a new chapter in IMEC's history in which worldwide collaboration will play a crucial role."

About IMEC
IMEC is a world leading independent research center in nanoelectronics and nanotechnology. Its research focuses on the next generations 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 whom 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 145 million euro. Further information on IMEC can be found at

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