Canada opens 200mm MEMS, 3D WLP center

September 2, 2009: A new Microelectronics Innovation Center is being formed at the Université de Sherbrooke in Bromont, Québec, to focus on 200mm microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and 3D wafer-level packaging (WLP), and “advanced technologies associated with the assembly and packaging of silicon chips.”

Initial investments come from the governments of Québec ($94.95M) and Canada ($82.95M), and another $40.6M from center cofounders DALSA, IBM Canada, and the U. of Sherbrooke along with unidentified semiconductor equipment suppliers. Participatory interest also has been expressed by other universities, research centers, and industrial partners both in Canada and globally, they note.

The group’s stated “prime purpose” is to “leverage the best from the Canadian and international research community to address industry’s most challenging problems,” with end goals of both technology transfer and spinoffs. It also will be the centerpiece of a planned “true microelectronics cluster in Québec” hoped to extend from activities centered around Albany, NY. An estimated 250 researchers will be involved, and >3000 jobs will be created.

“The project marks the birth of a value chain that could eventually match the Québec economy’s flagship innovation sectors — life sciences, aerospace, and computer technologies,” said Clément Gignac., Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, in a statement.

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