October 18, 2005 – European R&D consortium IMEC has added an RF-CMOS arm to its industrial affiliation program for researching sub-45nm CMOS technologies, expanding its efforts from an earlier 90nm program. The first goal of the three-year program, an early assessment of analog and RF performance of different advanced process modules and device architectures, will be realized with the release of a comparative study of planar MOSFETs vs. FinFETs at the upcoming IEDM conference in Washington, DC, in December.
A second objective will be to develop circuit topologies for very high-frequency/ultralow-power 45nm analog/RF CMOS that deal with low Vdd operation and degradations of analog performance. A third objective will target development of models of active and passive components for 45nm analog/RF CMOS.
IMEC also is partnering with the Flanders Interuniversity Institute of Biotechnology and the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven to set up an R&D research lab to develop neuro-electronic hybrid systems, examining how the convergence of micro- and nanotechnologies, molecular and cellular biology, and medicine can be used in medical and industrial applications. The first of two research efforts is development of “neurons-on-chip” systems build on patterned neuronal networks, using transducers to pickup and/or trigger electrical and chemical neuronal signals, for use in studying neuronal communication and providing insight into brain diseases (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease). The second research effort will develop “neuroprobes,” microfabricated arrays of sensors and actuators, to be implanted into the brain for in situ stimulation and monitoring of neuronal activity.