15 min

Preface September 2019

Each month our CEO reflects on the events in his (professional) life and discusses some of the articles featured in the magazine. This month, he talks about imec's new senior vice president CMOS Technologies, who will head the CMOS design and integration departments, and about the growing interest of semiconductor companies in the health applications market.

"With Sri Samavedam we are once again expanding our team with someone with an incredible amount of experience. In this way we will strengthen our leading position in the field of chip technology."

In August, Sri Samavedam started as our new senior vice president CMOS Technologies. He will be the head of the CMOS design and integration departments and will also be an important point of contact for our industrial partners in the CORE CMOS programme.

Two years ago, we asked Jan Rabaey to join our team as 'CTO system technology co-optimization'. Known for its visionary ideas on wireless applications and sensors, this technology pioneer from the world-renowned University of Berkeley was the perfect asset for imec to bridge the gap between semiconductor technology and systems.

Now, with Sri Samavedam, we are once again bringing in someone with incredible experience to strengthen our CMOS team to ensure and expand our leadership in the field of chip technology.

Sri Samavedam has already had a career with GlobalFoundries, Freescale and Motorola, where he has held various leadership roles. He has experience in scaling (32nm to 7nm CMOS), analog/RF, graphics and mobile CPUs, APUs, networks and ASICs. I wish him every success and am very proud of the team we have today.

And a strong team also leads to strong results and clear visions. We showed them during our special Semicon West edition of ITF. For the first time, not only our CMOS-related results were on the agenda, but also our track record of chip technology for life sciences. Imec has been working on this for more than 20 years now.

In the sequencing world (e.g. photonic) chips have already proven their worth, but other life science domains will also be covered. And that brings with it many challenges for the semiconductor companies, e.g. in terms of investments, the right partnerships, supply chain, etc. These challenges were discussed extensively during ITF US with experts from Neuralink, Capsule Technologies, Mekonos, Twist Bioscience and Cellseeq. By bringing together life science and semiconductor experts, imec aims to boost innovations and revolutions of this kind in the healthcare sector.

In this issue of imec magazine you will also find a good example of how chip technology can assist the life science industry. More specifically for monitoring bioprocesses (e.g. for making medicines and (cell) therapies). At present, these processes are often monitored by taking samples from the production line and examining them next to the line (at-line) or in an off-site specialised laboratory. This is detrimental to efficiency and time to market. By integrating (sensor) chips in the bioreactors and in the production line, this can completely change and industry4.0 can also become a reality in this sector.

You will also find articles on holography, interconnects and a testimonial from Fabric8Labs about their collaboration with imec. Have fun reading!

Luc Van den hove,

President and CEO imec

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