5 min

The five highlights of September 2017

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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Imec prepares the future of 5G mobile communication

At ITF Southeast Asia (Sept 6, Singapore), imec presented two key building blocks for future 5G applications. 5G mobile networks promise massive connectivity through much higher data rates, lower latency and lower battery consumption than current 4G standards. The first novelty introduced by imec is a fast and extremely compact analog-to-digital converter designed for consumer electronics such as mobile phones. Secondly, imec developed a 60GHz front-end for 5G wireless access and small cell backhaul applications. Both feature a record low power consumption. More information in the press release.

New display technology for next-generation user interfaces and virtual reality

The next-generation of displays will drive virtual and augmented reality applications. They will require pixel densities above 1,000 ppi. As a step to manufacture such displays, imec, Holst Centre, and TWP (Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd) have developed a new high-resolution OLED display technology. Using this new technology, the partners created a proof of concept, a passive 1.96 megapixel display with an equivalent resolution of 1250 ppi. More information in this press release.

Imec’s neuromorphic chip one of ‘50 Ideas to Change the World’

In September, the Financial Times selected 50 ideas that have the potential to change the world. The list included imec’s neuromorphic chip, unveiled in May. The chip mimics the way our brain learns from new experiences by continuously adapting the strength of connections in a network of cells. Such brain-like architecture uses only a fraction of the energy needed by classical computer chips. Imec’s goal is to make artificial intelligence so energy-efficient that it can be integrated into the sensors of the IoT.

EpiGaN and FibriCheck in the news!

At the world’s largest conference for cardiology (ESC2017 in Barcelona), FibriCheck won the award for Best Digital Health Company. FibriCheck, a company supported by the imec.istart business acceleration program, focuses on the development and commercialization of low-cost, scalable and user-friendly medical-grade mobile applications. The FibriCheck app is a diagnostic solution to detect heart rhythm disorders with a smartphone.

And EpiGaN, an imec spinoff company, welcomed FPIM (Belgian Federal Holding and Investment Company) as an additional investor. EpiGaN is a material supplier with a unique product portfolio of GaN-on-Si and GaN-on-SiC wafers, which it supplies to chip manufacturers to create high-performance power and RF devices. 

Antwerp City of Things showcases projects   

A series of short movies released earlier this month highlights some of the projects of the City of Things initiative, imec’s live, large-scale testing ground for smart city innovations in Antwerp.  

  • The project ‘Intello City’, in collaboration with the Flemish Institute for Logistics, aims to improve urban logistics through intelligent data. Imec researchers are looking into how cities can use data gathered via the Internet of Things to streamline the so-called last mile delivery, and at the same time reduce traffic congestion and boost customer satisfaction.
  • In collaboration with the Antwerp fire brigade, imec examines ways of using sensor data to prevent flooding and water damage, e.g. through early warning systems.
  • Multiparameter environmental sensors spread throughout the city, on buildings but also on vehicles, enable to create a fine-grained real-time picture of e.g. the city’s air quality. 
  • CitizenBike leverages data from sensors mounted on citizens’ bikes, user profiling, traffic information and infrastructure data to develop an optimal bike infrastructure and provide citizens with feedback on for example the safest and most healthy biking route to a given destination.
  • The Wappr-app has been developed to close the gap between the citizens and the smart city. The app will ask questions on smart city initiatives depending on a person’s location. The resulting feedback will be used to develop smart city solutions answering citizens’ actual needs.

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