Freescale Semiconductor and CEA-Leti, a leading research lab for micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) products and technologies, have partnered for the past decade to combine their expertise in MEMS development.
Building on collaborative efforts that began in 2001, Freescale and CEA-Leti will continue to focus on developing new breakthroughs in MEMS technology and advanced sensor products through their joint lab.
Freescale and CEA-Leti researchers have already demonstrated a state-of-the-art high aspect ratio micro-electromechanical systems (HARMEMS) lateral sensing technology that has been in production for several years at Freescale for automotive airbag sensing applications. The accelerometers have an advanced transducer design that enhances sensor offset performance over the life and operating conditions of the demanding application. HARMEMS technology provides over-damped mechanical response and exceptional signal-to-noise ratio to address customer requirements. HARMEMS technology has also been introduced in dual-axis accelerometers used in electronic stability control (ESC) applications to measure the lateral acceleration of the vehicle.
“Our sensor technology initiative with Leti demonstrates Freescale’s commitment to winning in the sensors space,” said Tom Deitrich, senior vice president and general manager of Freescale’s RF, Analog & Sensor Group. “We are proud to work with CEA-Leti, one of the world’s elite MEMS applied research labs. This effort will continue to put Freescale at the forefront of sensor innovation, helping our customers build leading-edge products.”
In 2010, Freescale introduced its Xtrinsic advanced sensor products. Xtrinsic sensors are designed with the right combination of intelligent integration, logic and customizable software to help deliver smarter, more differentiated applications. Freescale and CEA-Leti will collaborate on integrating Xtrinsic sensors to support merging automotive active safety systems, such as driver assistance systems and electronic stability control. Work is also underway to combine multiple sensor inputs, logic and other building blocks to bring greater value and decision making sensing solutions for the consumer and industrial markets.
“Freescale and CEA-Leti’s long-standing partnership demonstrates the confidence our industry partners have in Leti’s 25-year background, as well as their interest in our new MEMS 200mm line,” said Laurent Malier, Chief Executive Officer at CEA-Leti. “We are excited to continue working with Freescale, a high-volume MEMS manufacturer, to support the strong growth of the sensor market.”
A forecast by IHS iSuppli predicts global MEMS sensor revenues could rise to $5.4 billion by 2014, up from $3.7 billion in 2010. Next to the accelerated adoption of sensors in handsets and consumer electronics, the new growth drivers include strong demand from BRIC countries, mandates for safety and emission in the automotive sector, and a robust demand for sensors and actuators in industrial and medical markets according to IHS iSuppli.
Freescale and CEA-Leti recognize the increasing importance and pervasiveness of MEMS sensor technologies, which have system-level impact across automotive, consumer and industrial applications. Customers in these market areas require innovative development to deliver solutions with better performance and higher quality.