February 23, 2001–Leuven, Belgium–Growing market pressure for high-performance semiconductors is compelling the industry to introduce new technologies at an unprecedented rate and, as a result, has prompted IMEC, an independent research center located in Leuven, Belgium, and Sony Corp., based in Tokyo, Japan, to collaborate on wireless LAN and bipolar CMOS process technologies.
In the area of broadband wireless LAN, Sony will participate in IMEC’s Industrial Affiliation Programs (IIAP)–in which companies from all over the world work to jointly develop next-generation semiconductor technologies on the basis of cost sharing and risk reduction–to gain IMEC’s advanced system know-how and designing/modeling methodologies for 5GHz WLAN solutions. Results of the collaboration will be transferred to Sony to facilitate development of its proprietary WLAN device solution for future wireless consumer electronic products. Sony’s engineers will participate in the IIAP for 2 years.
In addition to the IIAP, the two companies have agreed to enter into a technology transfer program in which modules of IMEC’s bipolar CMOS process technology will be transferred to Sony. This technology is expected to foster the development of high-speed analog ICs that will become necessary to process high-frequency signals for next-generation consumer electronic products in the broadband network era.
“In order to quickly develop semiconductors that determine the key features of digital electronic products, it has become necessary to conduct technology collaboration programs that span the semiconductor industry and the research institutes,” says Tsugio Makimoto, corporate senior executive vice president of Sony. “Sony has worked with IMEC for a number of years now, and gained valuable experience in the development of the latest semiconductor technologies. We are delighted to once again participate in the IIAP, as well as to begin a technology transfer program to further strengthen our ties into the future.”