GLOBALFOUNDRIES today announced a strategic partnership with SVTC Technologies to accelerate the move to high-volume manufacturing of Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS). The collaboration, which will focus on joint technology development, will help GLOBALFOUNDRIES achieve its goal of becoming a MEMS foundry leader.
One of the fastest growing segments of the semiconductor market, MEMS are found in applications ranging from automotive sensors and inkjet printers to high-end smartphones and gaming controllers. However, MEMS manufacturing has been primarily confined to specialists who practice a “one process, one product” approach. To allow the MEMS market to continue its rapid growth, GLOBALFOUNDRIES is pursuing an aggressive strategy to bring MEMS from a specialty manufacturing platform to high-volume production by focusing on standardization similar to advanced CMOS processes.
“GLOBALFOUNDRIES is well positioned to be a leader in the transformation of MEMS to high-volume CMOS manufacturing,” said Raj Kumar, senior vice president of the 200mm Business Unit and general manager of GLOBALFOUNDRIES Singapore. “We have a strong track record of MEMS manufacturing and many CMOS-based technologies that can be utilized by MEMS. Plans are in place to add infrastructure and expertise to support a dedicated MEMS manufacturing line in Fab 3E, with the goal of beginning volume production of MEMS devices by Q3 2011.”
SVTC, a leading commercialization service provider for new emerging silicon-based technologies, will provide access to its full-scale development facilities, allowing GLOBALFOUNDRIES to develop silicon-based solutions for customers using a full complement of advanced CMOS and MEMS equipment. SVTC also will provide development support services and training on MEMS technology for GLOBALFOUNDRIES engineers.
“The market for MEMS technologies is growing dramatically, but fabless designers currently have limited options for bringing their MEMS designs to market in high volumes,” said Bert Bruggeman, chief executive officer of SVTC. “We are confident that our state-of-the-art development facilities and MEMS expertise will help GLOBALFOUNDRIES transform the MEMS foundry landscape and deliver high-volume CMOS manufacturing services to the world’s top design companies.”
GLOBALFOUNDRIES will initially focus its MEMS development initiatives on three applications: accelerometers, which are driving enhanced user experiences in mobile phones and consumer electronics; gyroscopes, which provide image stabilization and direction sensing capability for personal navigation; and RF MEMS, which can enable multi-band operation of mobile phones with smaller footprints and lower power.
GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ MEMS capabilities are based primarily at the company’s Fab 3E facility in Singapore. The region is fast becoming a hub for MEMS activity, and GLOBALFOUNDRIES is playing a major role in this initiative. The company is a founding member of the MEMS Consortium of the Singapore Agency for Science Technology and Research (A*STAR), which is comprised of several multi-national companies covering the whole supply chain from MEMS CAD to packaging.