X-FAB Goes 3D

NEWS, Erfurt, Germany, September 12, 2012.

Starts Foundry Service to Offer Direct Access to Open-Platform 3-Axis Inertial Sensor Process

X-FAB Silicon Foundries, which has shipped more than a billion MEMS devices, today announced the industry’s first open-platform MEMS 3D inertial sensor process available directly from a high-volume pure-play foundry. With access to the new 3D inertial sensor process, fabless and other companies will be able to apply their own design or use X-FAB’s design partner, and immediately run wafer volumes without long and costly process development. X-FAB’s open-platform process results in faster time to market and secure high-quality manufacturing for inertial sensors.

The new MEMS technology is suitable for a wide range of applications such as mobile devices, consumer goods, games and toys, automotive, robotics, industrial and medical equipment that use 3D accelerometers or gyroscopes. One-axis and 2-axis designs can be produced with the same process. Accelerometer and gyroscope designs also can be placed side by side on a single chip made with the same process, enabling the manufacture of 6DoF IMU.

“X-FAB’s open-platform processes launch a new era for the MEMS industry,“ said Iain Rutherford, X-FAB’s MEMS business line manager. “We are shifting the paradigm from the limiting ‘one product, one process’ rule to the open platform approach of giving any company access to a world-class quality process that can be used for multiple applications. It enables our customers to realize their goals in record time.”

X-FAB’s new technology features robust, single-crystal silicon for inertial masses and drive-combs, proprietary buried contact technology that supports complex metal interconnects using a single metal layer, low parasitic capacitance and EMI protection. The 3D inertial sensor process complements X-FAB‘s established 1D/2D inertial sensor, pressure sensor and infra-red thermopile open-platform processes, and its ready-made IP blocks for 2G, 10G and 100G accelerometers. The new 3D inertial sensor technology was developed using X-FAB’s step-by-step qualification procedures to ensure the process is characterized, stable, and high-yielding. All X-FAB manufacturing sites are ISO 9001 and ISO TS16949 qualified.

X-FAB is participating in the MEMS-in-Motion event in Palm Springs, Calif., on Sept. 12-13, 2012. Attendees can meet with X-FAB there to discuss the MEMS 3D open-platform process.

Availability
The technology is available now for engineering services and early access prototyping, with full qualification and complete design rule access coming early in 2013.