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UMC offers 90nm MPW service via Europractice

Posted: 18 Jan 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Peter Clarke? Europractice IC service? Interuniversities Microelectronics Center? IMEC? 90nm?

The Europractice IC service operated by the Interuniversities Microelectronics Center (IMEC) is now offering access to 90nm CMOS manufacturing on multiproject wafers (MPWs) from Taiwan foundry United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC).

Europractice, organized by IMEC, is funded by the European Commission within the framework of the Information Society Technologies (IST) part of the fifth framework of collaborative research. It provides access to multi-project wafer services from a number of suppliers in silicon, compound semiconductor and MEMS manufacturing process.

IMEC's Europractice customersEuropean universities, research centers, startups, and companies with small niche marketshave had access to UMC manufacturing processes down to 0.13-micron CMOS for logic, mixed-signal and RF circuits since October 2002 under a three year deal signed between IMEC and UMC. That deal included the provision for extending cooperation to more advanced processes.

The Europractice IC service brings together multiple designs from across Europe and then bundles the order to UMC's multi-project wafer service to try and obtain reduced cost. Europractice engineers are also able to vet designs to reduce the chances of them failing in the foundry due to a lack of experience amongst customers. Under the UMC-IMEC foundry agreement, Europractice customers now have access to prototyping and low-volume production on 0.25-, 0.18- and 0.13?m processes and on 90nm technologies. For smaller scale research or student designs, Europractice offers a prototyping program that reduces costs to less than 20 percent of normal foundry shuttle prices.

- Peter Clarke
EE Times

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