Wearable 5-channel ECG chip to monitor fetal heart rate and mobility
At FutureSummits, imec and imec spin-off Bloomlife have showcased a prototype of the world’s first wearable 5-channel electrocardiagram (ECG) chip that can continuously monitor fetal heart rate and mobility – two important indicators of a baby’s wellbeing. The chip, called BeatleIC, features a 5-channel ECG sensor, low power consumption and high accuracy to enable fetal ECG data acquisition at very low amplitude levels. With the development of this chip, a major hurdle has been taken in the creation of a wearable ECG system that can accurately measure the fetal ECG as early as week 20 in a woman’s pregnancy. It is expected to take away some of the uncertainty about the baby’s well-being often felt by expecting parents during the times between doctor’s appointments. More info in the press release.
Imec spin-off EpiGaN acquired by France-based Soitec
EpiGaN, a leading European supplier of gallium-nitride (GaN) epitaxial wafer materials, has been acquired by Soitec, an industry leader in designing and manufacturing innovative semiconductor materials. EpiGaN, founded in 2010 as a spin-off of imec, has developed GaN-based technology that is a key enabler for device innovation in, for example, power supplies, RF power systems for 5G and smart sensor systems. With the acquisition, Soitec will expand and complement its engineered substrate portfolio (including for example power-SOI products) beyond silicon, to create new value-added process solutions for both RF 5G and power systems. Soitec has acquired EpiGaN for 30M euro in cash. Read the press release for more information.
Europe joins forces to develop perovskite-based solar technology
Major European players involved in the development of perovskite technologies – including imec/EnergyVille, partner in Solliance – have created a collaborative platform called EPKI. With this platform, the participants aim to raise awareness on perovskite-based photovoltaics (PV), initiate next-generation PV industrial initiatives, and facilitate joint-research among the different players. Perovskite microcrystals are a promising material system to make high-performance thin-film solar cells. Over the last decade, perovskite-based solar cell technology has made tremendous progress, achieving outstanding lab-scale efficiencies – both in a single-junction architecture (24.2%) and in tandem with crystalline silicon (28%). The technology is expected to further reduce costs and resource demands of solar electricity production – hence providing new capacity to tackle climate change. Read the press release to learn more about the EPKI initiative.
Imec ‘Relay for Life’ team raises 15,238 euro for the Foundation against Cancer
Each year, an enthusiastic team of imec employees organizes different activities to raise funds for Relay for Life (‘Levensloop’) and the Foundation against Cancer, and to pay tribute to patients’ daily battle with the disease. This year, the team organised several dessert buffets (made by and for imec colleagues) and sold specialty beers. In addition, they encouraged 115 imec colleagues, family and friends to participate in the 24 hours Relay for Life at Leuven, a festive event for all ages that focuses on solidarity and fund-raising for the fight against cancer. With these activities, imec raised 15,238 euro for the Foundation against Cancer. This is one of the initiatives that are part of imec’s corporate social responsibility, which is high on its agenda.
Imec monolithically co-integrates GaN half-bridge and drivers in a single GaN-IC chip
Today, gallium-nitride (GaN) power components such as half-bridges are typically fabricated as separate components, either in individual packages or integrated in one package. Realizing these half-bridges on chip would however bring many benefits – in terms of complexity, cost and performance. The monolithic integration of these components on chip by using GaN-on-Si technology is however very challenging. Building on its GaN-on-SOI and GaN-on-QST®technology platforms, imec has demonstrated a functional GaN half-bridge monolithically integrated with drivers in one GaN-IC chip. The solution paves the way to boosting GaN performance and enabling true GaN-IC technology. More info in the press release.