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GlobalFoundries, Samsung Electronics, TSMC join sustainable semiconductors programme

Daniel Nenni

Staff member
Imec, a Belgium-based research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies, has welcomed semiconductor specialists GlobalFoundries, Samsung Electronics, and TSMC to its Sustainable Technologies & Systems (SSTS) research programme.

The SSTS programme was launched in 2018 to bring together stakeholders from across the semiconductor industry – including system companies, equipment suppliers and semiconductor foundries.

Imec described GlobalFoundries, Samsung Electronics, and TSMC joining the programme as an important milestone in bringing together the integrated circuit (IC) value chain. Their membership follows the earlier enrolment of companies such as Google, Amazon, Apple, Meta, and Microsoft.

Lars-Åke Ragnarsson, Programme Director of SSTS, said that by benchmarking models at GlobalFoundries, Samsung Electronics, and TSMC, Imec will be able to optimise its imec.netzero tool.

Imec.netzero is a web application that allows companies to assess energy consumption, water/mineral usage, and greenhouse gas emissions associated with the chipmaking process.

Ragnarsson adds, “In the longer term, the partner programme will also develop recommendations on how to improve the ecological footprint of chips by suggesting novel processes and technology optimisations.

The companies have joined the programme at a time where technology companies are accelerating efforts to achieve carbon neutrality for their supply chains and products. The SSTS programme will support this by providing detailed information of the environmental impact of choices made in the semiconductor manufacturing process.

In February (2022), the European Chips Act (EU Chips Act) was launched to bolster Europe’s competitiveness and resilience in semiconductor technologies and applications and achieve both the digital and green transition.

With the Act, the EU will address semiconductor shortages and strengthen Europe’s technical leadership. Further to this, the Act will mobilise more than €43bn of public and private investments.

Yes indeed the IMEC is always putting their research and innovations programs in advanced/new technologies with many big actors of that in the semiconductor, but like the relations with GlobalFoundries, Samsung Electronics, and TSMC, the new Japanese startup Rapidus also involved IMEC, in addtition of IBM, to develop their independent 2nm logic capability in their Hokkaido fab with initial prototypes in 2025 and full/huge capacity in 2027…