Imec, a nanoelectronics research centre, has opened imec Florida, a new entity focusing on photonics and high-speed electronics IC design. Based based in Osceola, imec Florida kicked off with the signing of a collaboration agreement with the University of Central Florida (UCF), Osceola County, and the International Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing Research (ICAMR), which is setting up fab facilities for the development and production of III-V-on-silicon solutions for a range of applications including sensors, high-speed electronics and photonics.
Imec Florida will be established as a design centre facilitating the collaboration between imec’s headquarters, based in Leuven, Belgium, and US-based semiconductor and system companies, universities, and research institutes. Imec Florida’s initial focus will be the R&D of high speed electronics and photonics solutions, starting with an offering of IC design research for a broad set of semiconductor-based solutions, such as THz and Lidar sensors, imagers, and a broad range of sensors. It will also provide IC design needs that will be driving the ICAMR manufacturing research. Through imec Florida, imec’s design, prototyping and low-volume production service – also named imec IC-link – will provide the US market low-cost access to advanced foundry services, helping entrepreneurs (industry and academia) to design innovative products and get them to market.
Funding for imec Florida will come from Osceola County and the University of Central Florida. The new centre will attract top talent through future strategic partnerships, with the aim of employing about 10 scientists and engineers by the end of the year and increase to 100 researchers in the next five years. Heading up the facility as general manager will be imec’s vice president, Bert Gyselinckx, who previously served as general manager at imec in Eindhoven, the Netherlands and helped to co-invent many technologies deployed by innovative semiconductor and consumer electronics companies.
‘As the US semiconductor market continues to strengthen with semiconductor manufacturing, equipment, materials and system innovation, we are extremely pleased to collaborate with partner organizations in Florida and see Osceola County in the Orlando region as an interesting location to drive the next phase of imec’s growth and innovation,’ stated Luc Van den hove, president and CEO of imec. ‘Together with industrial and academic partners, we want to develop sustainable solutions and technology to accelerate innovation and stimulate economic growth within Osceola County and the State of Florida.’
‘Imec’s international prestige gives us the opportunity to leverage its standing in a field that is growing exponentially in order to recruit more partners and funding for our work at the new Design Center and the Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center,’ said Osceola county commission chairwoman Viviana Janer. ‘The relationships and people that imec brings to our operation are tangible ways that Osceola County’s five-year, $15 million investment will be more than re-paid. It’s important to realize that the new Design Center is going to capture the attention of everyone in this field, thereby ensuring maximum utilization and value of the FAMRC.’
‘The imec Design Centre is the funnel that will fill ICAMR with high-value manufacturing opportunities and we will work closely with them to make sure our capabilities tightly align with their technology direction, said ICAMR CEO Chester Kennedy. ‘This partnership is poised to shine the global high-tech spotlight on Central Florida.’
On 11 July 2016, imec introduced imec Florida to the semiconductor industry at its annual Imec Technology Forum (ITF) USA, a half-day conference in San Francisco, California. ITF USA is part of imec’s worldwide ITF events, organised in conjunction with SEMICON West and supported by SEMI. With the theme ‘Towards the Ultimate System’, imec’s highly acclaimed speakers and industrial keynote speakers will look at the co-optimisation of design and new technology, and how technology innovation can deliver the right building blocks to build these systems.