SOURCE: X-FAB Silicon Foundries

X-FAB Silicon Foundries

September 12, 2012 03:01 ET

X-FAB Goes 3D

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

ERFURT, GERMANY--(Marketwire - September 12, 2012) - 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.

About X-FAB
X-FAB is the leading analog/mixed-signal foundry group manufacturing silicon wafers for analog-digital integrated circuits (mixed-signal ICs). X-FAB maintains wafer production facilities in Erfurt and Dresden (Germany); Lubbock, Texas (U.S.); and Kuching, Sarawak (Malaysia); and employs approximately 2,400 people worldwide. Wafers are manufactured based on advanced modular CMOS and BiCMOS processes, as well as MEMS processes, with technologies ranging from 1.0 to 0.13 micrometers, for applications primarily in the automotive, communications, consumer and industrial sectors. For more information, please visit www.xfab.com.

Acronyms    
1D/2D/3D   One dimensional, two dimensional, three dimensional
6DoF   6 degrees of freedom of movement
BiCMOS   bipolar junction transistor and CMOS transistor integration
CMOS   Complementary metal oxide semiconductor 
EMI   Electromagnetic interference
IMU   Inertial measurement units
IP   Intellectual property
ISO   International Organization for Standardization
MEMS   Microelectromechanical systems

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