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GlobalFoundries, Samsung Electronics, TSMC join sustainable semiconductors programme

Imec, a research and innovation hub in Belgium, has announced that semiconductor specialists GlobalFoundries, Samsung Electronics, and TSMC have joined its Sustainable Technologies & Systems (SSTS) research program. The SSTS program, initiated in 2018, aims to bring together stakeholders from the semiconductor industry, including system companies, equipment suppliers, and semiconductor foundries.

The inclusion of GlobalFoundries, Samsung Electronics, and TSMC in the program is seen as a significant step in integrating the integrated circuit (IC) value chain. This development follows the enrollment of other major companies such as Google, Amazon, Apple, Meta, and Microsoft.

Lars-Åke Ragnarsson, the Program Director of SSTS, has stated that benchmarking models from these companies will enable Imec to optimize its imec.netzero tool. Imec.netzero is a web application that allows companies to assess the energy consumption, water/mineral usage, and greenhouse gas emissions associated with the chipmaking process. In the long term, the SSTS program aims to provide recommendations for improving the ecological footprint of chips through novel processes and technology optimizations.
The participation of these companies comes at a time when technology firms are intensifying their efforts to achieve carbon neutrality in their supply chains and products. The SSTS program will support these endeavors by providing detailed information on the environmental impact of choices made in semiconductor manufacturing.

The article also mentions the European Chips Act (EU Chips Act), launched in February 2022, which aims to enhance Europe’s competitiveness and resilience in semiconductor technologies. The act addresses semiconductor shortages and seeks to strengthen Europe’s technical leadership. It is expected to mobilize over €43 billion in public and private investments.