International Conference on Silicon Epitaxy and Heterostructures (ICSI) will take place in Leuven, Belgium, from Monday, August 29th to Thursday, September 1st, 2011. Imec, Katholieke Universiteit (KU Leuven), CEA-Leti, and the University of Liege are co-hosting the forum. In addition, Imec will hold a workshop on GeSn with KU Leuven and University of Nagoya, Japan on Friday, September 2nd.
Imec is creating a new industrial research program on high-bandwidth optical input/output (I/O). The goal of the new program is to explore the use of optical solutions for realizing high-bandwidth I/O between CMOS chips. The affiliation program is a part of imec’s research platform on deep-submicron CMOS scaling. In close collaboration with imec’s industrial partners, the optical I/O program will develop a silicon-photonics solution for addressing the upcoming scaling challenges in interconnecting CMOS chips.
Imec announced large-area (70cm2) epitaxial solar cells with efficiencies of up to 16.3% on high-quality substrates. Efficiencies of up to 14.7% were also achieved on large-area low-quality substrates. The results were achieved within imec’s silicon solar cell industrial affiliation program (IIAP) that explores and develops advanced process technologies aiming a sharp reduction in silicon use, whilst increasing cell efficiency and hence further lowering substantially the cost per Watt peak.
Imec created the first electrically functional copper lines embedded into silicon oxide using a spacer-defined double patterning approach. According to imec, this is a major step towards 20nm half pitch interconnects. Spacer-defined (or self-aligned) double patterning has recently gained interest as the patterning technique for future FLASH memory devices. Memory vendors will benefit from this research.
Imec researchers have created biosensors based on nanostructure geometries that increase sensitivity. The biosensors can detect extremely low concentrations of specific disease markers. According to imec, this paves the way to early diagnostics of cancer by detecting low densities of cancer markers in human blood samples. Some of the research results were achieved in collaboration with the Catholic University of Leuven (Leuven, Belgium), Imperial College (London, UK) and Rice University (Houston, Texas).
Imec announced a cognitive baseband radio (COBRA) architecture for 4G applications requiring up to 1Gbit/s throughput and multiple asynchronous concurrent streams (such as simultaneous digital broadcasting reception and high-speed internet access). COBRA is a low-cost, flexible architecture that is ideal for wireless communication where terminals give users ubiquitous broadband access to a multitude of services.
Imec and Holst Centre have developed integrated sensing elements for gas detection. The polymer-coated microbridges in high-density arrays can detect ppm-level concentrations of vapors using on-chip integrated read-out techniques. Thanks to the low power consumption (<1 mW/bridge) and small form factor, the technology is ideal for the miniaturization of electronic nose devices.
Synopsys and imec will collaborate to accelerate the development of 3D stacked IC technologies. Synopsys TCAD (Technology Computer-Aided Design) finite-element method tools will be used for characterizing and optimizing the reliability and electrical performance of through-silicon vias (TSVs). The collaboration will accelerate the development of 3D stacked IC technologies.
Imec and Altos Design Automation will to set up a library re-characterization service based on Altos characterization tools. imec will extend their ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) prototyping and volume fabrication service with library re-characterization, which is essential when designing in 65nm and 40nm nodes.
Holst Centre, imec, and TNO teamed on a dual-gate-based organic RFID chip with record data rate and lowest reported operating voltage. The advantages of dual gate transistors in circuit speed and robustness have been used in a complex organic-electronic circuit. Further and ongoing work will demonstrate the viability of the technology towards industrial uptake.