Imec News

Archive 2002

IMEC sets up new center of excellence in reliability


IMEC’s new Reliability Center invites industrial partners and research centers to collaborate in the area of reliability and failure physics on the basis of shared cost, risk and IP.

July 17, 2002 --- San Francisco, US --- IMEC, Europe’s leading independent R&D center for microelectronics, has established a new center of excellence that will build upon the framework of its research activities on physics of failure mechanisms, reliability test structures and test methodologies, and built-in reliability. The new Reliability Center is equipped with a wide range of reliability test systems and systems for failure and material analysis.

With this new center, IMEC intends to address the economic demand for increased reliability levels of next-generation semiconductor devices and microsystems. The challenges are large since, due to the ever continuing scaling of process technologies, the materials and devices used in present-day technologies are being pushed to their intrinsic limits of reliability and new materials and processes are being introduced to enhance performance. The development of systems-in-a-package and systems-in-a-chip is a further stimulus for the center, as the gradual integration of new technologies (such as MEMS, sensors, etc.) creates additional reliability problems.

“Key to continued reliability improvement is a fundamental understanding of the failure mechanisms that are limiting the lifetime of the devices,” says Gilbert Declerck, President and CEO of IMEC. “Therefore, we have built up a unique know-how and toolset at IMEC in close interaction with our in-house technology development and research teams. This expertise is now brought together in a center of excellence through which companies and research institutes can fully access and exploit our knowledge and tools to cope with their increasing reliability challenges.”

The research activities and expertise areas of the center include basic failure mechanisms, reliability of application technologies, and reliability tools and methods.

The reliability center is looking for collaboration with industry and research centers on innovative, in-depth research of specific topics in the area of reliability and failure physics. Potential partners are equipment manufacturers, semiconductor and microsystems manufacturers, packaging houses and fabless companies. Collaborations will be performed on a bilateral base in which cost and IP will be shared. Apart from joint research, IMEC’s reliability center offers documentation and training on a wide selection of reliability issues, as well as related services.








Notes to editors

About IMEC

IMEC was founded in 1984 and today is Europe’s largest independent research center in the field of microelectronics, nanotechnology, enabling design methods and technologies for ICT systems. IMEC's activities concentrate on the design technology for integrated information and communication systems; silicon process technology; silicon technology and device integration; nanotechnology, microsystems, components and packaging; solar cells; and advanced training in microelectronics. IMEC is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has a staff of more than 1200 people including over 350 industrial residents and guest researchers. IMEC has a 0.13µm 200mm pilot line and is ISO9001 certified. Its revenue of more than 120Meuro is derived from agreements and contracts with the Flemish government and companies, the EC, MEDEA+, the European Space Agency, equipment and material suppliers, and semiconductor and system-oriented companies worldwide. News from IMEC is located at

For more information

Katrien Marent                                                                       

Corporate Communication Manager                            


Phone: +32 16 28 18 80                                                


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