imec celebrates 30 years of nanoelectronics innovation

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Belgian research institute imec is celebrating 30 years at the helm of nanoelectronics innovation.

Founded in 1984 as a non-profit organisation, imec has grown to be a multi-disciplinary R&D centre in the fields of semiconductor chips and systems, photovoltaics, wireless communications, image sensors, flexible electronics and displays. Together with partners including Micron, Xilinx, Qualcomm, TSMC, Altera and Cadence, the orgnisation has also played a key role in the transition from 200mm to 300mm silicon wafers. Its main achievements in semiconductor process technology research include development of sub 22nm process technologies: From silicides to copper, to the introduction of low-k and high-k/metal gates, imec's R&D has explored techniques to overcome interconnect metalliastion issues. In 2013, imec demonstrated the world's first 3d compound semiconductor FinFET. Integrating III-V and silicon materials on the same 300mm silicon wafer through a unique silicon fin replacement process, the research institute demonstrated progress toward continued cmos scaling at 7nm and below, enabling future hybrid cmos-rf and cmos-optoelectronics.