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Nonprofit company
Industry micro- and nano-electronics, solar cell
Genre Independent research center
Founded 1984
Founder Roger Van Overstraeten
Headquarters Leuven, Belgium
Number of locations
Taiwan, Japan, USA, China, Netherlands and India
Key people
Luc Van den Hove, President and CEO
Services Research, education
Revenue 363 million Euro (2014)[1]
Number of employees

Imec is an international renowned research institute that performs research in different fields of nanoelectronics. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has offices in the Netherlands, Taiwan, USA, China, India and Japan. Its staff counts more than 2,200 people including industrial residents and guest researchers. Recent numbers on budget, staff, publications etc. are published every year in April in a press release. Research results are published every month in imec magazine.


  • History 1
  • Campus 2
  • Research domains 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


In 1982 the Flemish Government set up a program in the field of microelectronics with the goal to strengthen the microelectronics industry in Flanders. The decision was inspired by the strategic importance of microelectronics for the industry, and by the major investments required to keep up with developments in this field.

This program included setting up a laboratory for advanced research in microelectronics (imec), a semiconductor foundry (former Alcatel Microelectronics, now STMicroelectronics and AMI Semiconductor), and a training program for VLSI design engineers. The latter is now fully integrated in the imec activities.

Imec was founded in 1984 as a non-profit organization led by Prof. Roger Baron Van Overstraeten. It is supervised by a Board of Directors, which includes delegates from industry, Flemish universities and the Flemish Government. Since 1984, imec has been led by Roger Van Overstraeten, Gilbert Declerck (as of June 1999), and Luc Van den hove (as of July 2009).


The imec campus in Leuven, Belgium includes 24,400m² of office space, laboratories, training facilities, and technical support rooms. At the heart of the campus are 2 state-of-the-art cleanrooms which run a semi-industrial operation (24/7). There is a 300mm cleanroom (450mm ready) that focuses on R&D towards (sub-)10 nm process technology and a 200mm cleanroom for R&D, development-on-demand, prototyping and low volume manufacturing on more-than-Moore technologies (sensors, actuators, and MEMS, NEMS etc.). Imec has, among others, a pilot line for silicon and organic solar cells, unique laboratories for bioelectronics research, and equipment for materials characterization and reliability testing. For research on technologies for the intuitive internet of things, imec has dedicated labs for sensor and imaging technologies, wireless connectivity.

Research domains

Imec has driven the semiconductor roadmap for more than 30 years. With its global nanoelectronics open innovation platform, imec brings together the entire semiconductor eco system including the leading foundries, IDMs, fabless and fablite companies, material and equipment suppliers. Together with its partners, imec develops new technologies and processes for sub-10 nm CMOS scaling, both for logic and memory technology. Looking even 10 years ahead, they explore options to create chips with transistor dimensions smaller than 5 nm. With their global leading semiconductor partners, they pioneer the use of new materials and transistor architectures, processing technologies, integration and design methods.

Imec performs research on different application fields of nanoelectronics, applications related to the intuitive internet of things, healthcare and energy. More specifically this includes wearable health monitoring (EEG, ECG sensors, ...), life sciences (lab-on-chip, cells-on-chip, neuroprobes); wireless communication (reconfigurable radios, radar, ...); image sensors and vision systems (hyperspectral imaging, lens free microscopy, ...); large-area flexible electronics; solar cells and batteries; GaN power electronics, ….

  • sub-10 nm CMOS scaling
    • Advanced lithography
    • Logic devices
    • Memory devices
    • Interconnect scaling
    • 3D system integration
    • Optical interconnect
  • GaN power electronics
  • Wearable health monitoring
  • Life sciences
    • NERF-Neuroelectronics Research Flanders
    • Exascience Life Lab
  • Wireless communication
    • 60 GHz wireless communication
    • Ultra low power wireless communication
    • Reconfigurable Radio - Analog/RF front-end
    • Reconfigurable Radio - Digital baseband
    • 79 GHz radar
    • ADC Analog-to-Digital Converters
  • Image sensors and vision systems
    • Hyperspectral imaging
    • Embedded CCD
    • Backside illumination
    • Ultrasound imaging
    • Lens free microscopy
  • Large Area Flexible Electronics
  • Solar cells and batteries
    • Silicon solar cells
    • Thin-film solar cells
  • Sensor systems for industrial applications
    • Ultra-low power DSP
    • Ultra-low power wireless communication
    • Micro-power generation and storage
    • Sensors and actuators
  • CMOS heterogeneous integration
  • Human++: wearable medical devices
  • Life-Science technologies such as integrated micro-PCR, Neuroprosthetics, chips for in-vitro diagnostics, DNA sequencing and hybridisation, protein detection sensor technology, and high performance computing for life sciences
  • Wireless communication
  • Nvision
  • Energy
  • CMOS-based nanoelectronics
  • Nanotechnology and post-CMOS nanoelectronics
  • Characterisation, reliability and modelling
  • Multi-mode multimedia (M4) technologies
  • Wireless autonomous transducer solutions
  • Solar cells
  • Large-area CMOS-based Image Sensors (Back-illuminated CIS)
  • Advanced packaging and interconnection technologies ([Bumping], [WLP])
  • 3D-chip stacking (Through-Silicon Vias)
  • Power-efficient devices based on III-V Materials (GaN, GaAs...)
  • Organic electronics
  • RF devices and technology
  • MEMS for RF and millimeterwave applications
  • Design methodologies and technology in the context of EDA
  • Power MEMS
  • EUVL

See also

  • Official website:
  • A movie on the imec campus:
  • Imec’s movie channel on vimeo and youtube
  • More info on the monthly imec magazine:
  • A movie that gives an overview of imec expertise:


  1. ^ "About imec: Company profile". Web site. Retrieved 15 April 2015. 

External links

  • Official website
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