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IMEC expands cleanroom, lab in Belgium campus

Posted: 15 Jun 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IMEC expansion? cleanroom? research lab?

IMEC has officially opened the extension of its cleanroom at its campus in Leuven, Belgium and kicked off the construction of a new office building fitting in its plan for further expanding its high-tech ecosystem.

With these extra 18,000m? cleanroom, lab and office space, IMEC will have a research campus of 80,000m? 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 infrastructure, researchers, yearly grant of the Flemish government and collaboration with important industrial players, form the fundaments for its further growth. Several companies have already established research entities at IMEC including the Flanders ExaScience Lab focusing on supercomputing and Neurelectronics Research Flanders (NERF) aiming at unraveling the human brain.

The extended cleanroom not only offers space to new tools, but also makes the facilities 450mm-ready so to enable advanced research in chip process technology to continue. With an extra ultraclean processing area of 1,200m?, IMEC's cleanroom now approaches 10,000m?. The first equipment for the extension, an advanced coater/developer from Tokyo Electron Ltd, the CLEAN TRACK LITHIUS Pro, arrived in May. This clean track will interface with ASML's newest preproduction extreme ultraviolet 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 its advanced research on silicon and organic solar cells and on biomedical electronics. These labs take up another 1,600m?, including lab space for the recently launched NERF initiative. The NERF lab will be finalized by Q1 11. 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.

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