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Apple Joins Imec’s ‘Sustainable Semiconductor Technologies and Systems’

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LEUVEN, Belgium, Oct. 29, 2021 — Apple Inc. has joined imec’s Sustainable Semiconductor Technologies and Systems (SSTS) research program. The SSTS program is an initiative to bring together stakeholders across the integrated chip (IC) value chain to anticipate the environmental impact of choices made at chip technology’s definition phase.

Using concrete and reliable models and detailed carbon footprint analyses, the program will help the industry cut back on its ecological footprint as part of the global fight against climate change, resource depletion, and pollution.

Apple becomes the initiative’s first public partner.
The new SSTS program combines imec’s insights in infrastructure, technology and machinery to help the complete IC value chain reduce its ecological footprint. Courtesy of imec.
The new SSTS program combines imec’s insights in infrastructure, technology, and machinery to help the complete IC value chain reduce its ecological footprint. Courtesy of imec. 

The introduction of smaller, more powerful, and increasingly more energy-efficient generations of chips has made smart devices progressively more sustainable. In contrast, the world’s growing dependence on semiconductor technology and its intricate production processes have added to the industry’s ecological footprint. That footprint is not only characterized by high energy consumption, chemical usage, scarce materials, and ultrapure water, but also through the emission of greenhouse gases such as NF3.

“Many systems companies are carbon neutral today for their corporate footprints and have expressed the ambition to have their entire carbon footprint to net zero by 2030. They are very committed to achieving that goal, yet often lack the data to decipher the IC part end-to-end,” said Luc Van den hove, CEO of imec. “Moreover, companies realize they can only become carbon neutral if their whole supply chain follows suit. So, that is the snowball effect we want to create — together with Apple — today: I would like to call upon the whole semiconductor value chain not to stand at the side, but to act as one and to join forces with us to cut back the entire semiconductor industry’s ecological footprint.”
Oct 2021
1. A localized fracture at the end of a cleaved optical fiber or on a glass surface. 2. An integrated circuit.
BusinesssemiconductorsfabricationchipSensors & DetectorsApplecarbon emissionsenvironmentnet zerocarbon dioxidecarbon footprintsupply chainIMECintegrated chipresearchdata analysissustainability

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