Imec today officially opens the extension of its state-of-the-art cleanroom at its campus in Leuven, Belgium. Moreover, imec also kicks off the construction of a new office building fitting in its plan for further expanding its high-tech ecosystem.
With these extra 18,000m2 cleanroom, lab and office space, imec will have a research campus of 80,000m2 that can stand the comparison with any other high-tech research center worldwide. As such, imec aims at playing an important role in the growth of the Flemish high-tech economy.
Imec’s unique infrastructure, its extensive expertise, top researchers, the yearly grant of the Flemish government and of course collaboration with important industrial players, form the fundaments for the further growth of imec. Several companies have already established research entities at imec. Recent examples are the Flanders ExaScience Lab focusing on supercomputing and Neurelectronics Research Flanders (NERF) aiming at unraveling the human brain.
Imec’s extended cleanroom not only offers space to new tools, the extensions also makes imec’s cleanroom facilities 450mm-ready so that imec’s advanced research in chip process technology can continue to follow the industry standards. With an extra ultra-clean processing area of 1,200 m2, imec’s cleanroom now approaches 10,000m2. The first equipment for the extension, the world’s most advanced coater/developer from TEL (Tokyo Electron Limited), the CLEAN TRACK™ LITHIUS Pro™, arrived in May. This clean track will interface with ASML’s newest preproduction EUV scanner, the NXE:3100, to be delivered by the end of 2010.
In parallel with the building of the cleanroom, imec also started construction of new lab spaces to facilitate and extend imec’s advanced research on silicon and organic solar cells and on biomedical electronics. These labs take up another 1,600m2, including lab space for the recently launched NERF initiative. The NERF lab will be finalized by Q1 2011. The solar cell research facilities are gradually being installed.
In Q4 2010, imec will start with the construction of a new office building. A jury, including Flanders’ official building master, has selected the design of the Austrian architect’s firm Baumschlager-Eberle. The tower building will have 16 floors to house up to 450 people, and will have space for an auditorium and labs with light equipment.
“The continuous growth of imec into a high-tech knowledge pole has only been possible thanks to the continuous support of the Flemish Government.” said Luc Van den hove, President and CEO of imec “I’m confident that the expansion of imec will play a crucial role in the further growth of the high-tech economy in Flanders.