October 11, 2006 – IMEC has added top foundry TSMC to its Europractice IC service, which offers low-cost ASIC prototyping and ASIC small volume production through multiproject chip and dedicated wafer runs.
Under the deal, TSMC initially will offer its 0.25µm through 0.13µm CMOS general purpose technologies including mixed-signal, RF, and embedded flash options, and will offer its CybershuttleSM multiproject wafer platform for prototyping and production services.
“Partnering with IMEC is an important step in TSMC’s on-going effort to support and to grow the European fabless semiconductor industry,” stated Kees den Otter, president of TSMC Europe. “We are very impressed with the efficiency and professionalism with which IMEC handles this new service, and we look forward to a long and successful partnership.”
The Europractice IC Service was launched by the European Commission in Oct. 1995 to reduce the perceived risks and costs associated with adopting ASIC, multichip module and microsystems technologies. Run by a consortium headed by IMEC with involvement from UK-based RAL and Germany’s FhG-IIS, It offers a fully supported, affordable route to IC design, prototyping, and small and medium volume production. IMEC claims that the service annually prototypes about 500 designs, with 100 small volume projects manufactured.
Participating chipmakers include: UMC (0.25µm to 90nm), AMI Semiconductor (0.3-0.7µm), austriamicrosystems (0.35-0.8µm), and Germany’s IHP Microelectronics (0.25µm). Fabless participants in the Europractice span most of Europe: Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, and UK. But there are a couple of participants from outside Europe (Brazil and the US).