European Union will continue FP7-programme funding for Europractice IC services

July 25, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
Together with its partners STFC and Fraunhofer IIS, imec has announced that the European Commission has pledged to continue funding the Europractice IC services for another 3 years under the FP7 program, funding that is key to providing advanced chip technologies to European companies and academia through multi-project wafer (MPW) runs.

"The EU’s continued support of the Europractice IC services speaks to the value of our efforts to help get European ASIC (application specific integrated circuits)-based products to market quickly and cost effectively,” stated Carl Das, Director of the Europractice IC service at imec. “This funding will enable us to continue to provide the best and most advanced solutions to European academia and research institutes, start-up companies and companies with small niche markets.”

Europractice IC service is internationally recognised as a leading service to universities and industry for design, development, prototyping and manufacturing of state-of-the-art application specific integrated circuits (ASICs) on a cost-sharing basis. Today, about 500 universities, 150 research centres and more than 200 European companies have access to this service.

Europractice IC services offers dedicated training courses on design flows and methods in advanced technologies, and has negotiated low cost opportunities with the most popular industry-standard CAD vendors and foundries. As such, academics and research centres have access to state-of-the-art CAD tools for training and non-commercial research, and to multi-project wafer (MPW) runs for prototyping and manufacturing. Europractice IC services also supports companies in the assembly and testing phase. Over the next three years, the service will expand its offering from ASIC services to prototyping possibilities in MEMS and photonics-related technologies.

Imec performs world-leading research in nanoelectronics; www.imec.be

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of the United Kingdom’s research councils; www.stfc.ac.uk

The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS performs contract research and development for industry and public authorities; www.iis.fraunhofer.de