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The five highlights of February 2019

Life is busy! So you might not always have the time to keep up with imec's latest news and achievements. On this page, you can find a quick overview of what imec has been doing in the past month.

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The countdown to FutureSummits has started

Leading up to imec’s brand-new tech experience on May 14 and 15 in Antwerp, the website is now up and running featuring an impressive list of confirmed speakers. FutureSummits is a series of international events hosted by imec in different countries and continents. The Antwerp edition is made up of three conferences – including the Imec Technology Forum (ITF) – and a vast interactive demo exhibition. Each conference hosts a speaker line-up of renowned experts. They’re invited to share their views and insights on our tech future from a tech perspective (ITF Belgium), a societal point of view (Forward Dive), or a business perspective (AI Flanders). Check out the list of tech experts and visionaries and other information on www.futuresummits.com.

Digimeter reveals a growing maturity towards our digital reality

Digimeter, yearly measuring the media consumption of the Flemish citizens, showed an increased awareness of the pros and cons of new media and ICT. Although the Flemish seem to have embraced the digital revolution, they are at the same time cautious about dependency, reliability and transparency. For example, 45% of Flemish citizens lists the smartphone as number 1 screen, but the majority imposes upon themselves rules to limit excessive use of the device. Interestingly, Digimeter also reports – for the first time in years – a shift to traditional news media. Local and national news, both on tv screens as online, attract more viewers at the expense of news on social media and search engines. This trend goes hand-in-hand with an increased suspicion regarding fake news.

Read these and other results in the full report on the website of Digimeter (www.digimeter.be). Are you Flemish and do you want to participate next year? Register on www.maakdatmee.be (Dutch only).

Presence detection in smart buildings with imec’s sub-mW radar

Cameras are great for 2D images, but radar is better for detecting movement and distance and is superior in low-light conditions. Unfortunately, current commercial radars consume too much power, and often require more expensive semiconductor technologies. At the 2019 International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC2019) imec presented an exceptional radar transceiver designed as an efficient, low-cost solution for presence detection in smart building solutions. The power consumption of the 8GHz radar is below 1mW, which is 100 times lower than other solutions. And, the radar is capable of detecting even micro-movements from human respiration, up to a distance of 15 meters. This performance makes it a breakthrough solution for low-cost battery-powered presence detection and people counting applications in offices, hospitals and on industrial sites.

Read the press release here

Cooling down chips with a miniature microfluidics heat sink

With the downscaling of chips and their packaging, heat effects associated with the increased power density become more and more of a problem. Imec’s solution is a silicon-based compact microchannel heat sink that enables high heat flux dissipation. The imec heat sink assembled to a high-performance chip for cooling the latter one achieves a low total thermal resistance of 0.34K/W to 0.28K/W at less than 2W pump power. Combining a relatively good heat conductor as silicon with small, parallel, high-aspect-ratio silicon microchannel structures further increases the convective heat transfer surface area and the heat transfer coefficient, enabling high heat flux removal in imec’s chip cooler. This makes it possible to dissipate power of more than 600W/cm2 while keeping the component temperature below 100°C. The silicon microfluidics heat sink is a step towards the next generation of chip cooling solutions, directly integrating the heat sinks and the IC at wafer scale, aiming at an additional cost of one USD.

For the full press release, click here

imec chip cooler

Over 30 first-author papers for imec on SPIE Advanced Lithography

SPIE Advanced Lithography is every year the place-to-be to learn about the latest advancements in optical lithography, metrology, or extreme ultraviolet (EUV). At this meeting experts come to solve challenges in lithography, patterning technologies, and materials for the semiconductor industry. This year, imec was present with over 30 first-author contributions, including its work on sequential infiltration synthesis (SIS). This post-lithography technique is shown to significantly reduce stochastic nano-failures and line roughness, contributing to the introduction of EUV lithography patterning of future nodes. The improvement SIS showcases is indebted to imec’s EUV lithography and metrology infrastructure and recent advancements in the field of process control, material and etch research. Find out which imec papers are accepted on the website of the meeting and read the press release.

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