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Apr 18th, 2014
IMEC adds image sensors to commercial development service
The Belgian research institute IMEC is adding image sensors and vision systems to commercial development and foundry fabrication services based on its 200mm and 300mm wafer processing capabilities.
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IMEC has produced a two-page brochure that extols the virtues of partnering with IMEC to develop and produce vision systems.

IMEC has amassed considerable image sensor experience in research, and its "toolbox" claims to have three- and four-transistor pixels, embedded CCD pixels in CMOS, back-side illumination, hyperspectral filtering, and butting and stitching of die for large area imagers.

"We do prototyping and low-volume production in house on 200 and 300mm wafers, and can transfer the requisite manufacturing process to a high-volume foundry if necessary," according to the document. IMEC stands ready to do co-design of pixels, analog, and digital blocks, as well as the necessary software for simulation, verification, and calibration.

Manufacturing is done at the IMEC research campus in Leuven on both 200mm and 300mm wafers in the original pilot wafer fab for proprietary R&D and low-volume manufacturing. The so-called FlexFab runs 130nm, 90nm, and 65nm baseline CMOS, as well as proprietary processes.

IMEC opened up for commercial development and manufacturing engagements in 2008 on its first 200mm wafer line as it was bringing up its second 300mm pilot module for more advanced research. Prior to that, IMEC had only engaged with multiple partners under Industrial Affiliate Programs of research to share R&D and intellectual property.

As of 2008, the 200-mm line has been used for the development of "more than Moore" technologies such as packaging, MEMS, biosensors, and 3D integration, with a change of business model to single-customer contracts.


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