Researchers and companies creating innovative micro-electro mechanical systems (MEMS) to improve the functionality of new products in the communications, sensor and biotechnology markets now have the opportunity to design into an established fabrication process.
The new MicraGEM-Si™ process platform will allow designers to prototype devices within defined design rules, which will greatly reduce the initial cost and risk of development, while speeding the time to market for MEMS-based devices such as inertial sensors and optical switches.
Micralyne Inc., an independent MEMS solutions company, will offer this unique silicon MEMS process for broad access in collaboration with CMC Microsystems. This partnership will allow designers to purchase a portion of a MEMS fabrication run through use of a multi-product wafer strategy. CMC Microsystems will provide the front-end sales, design documentation, and design consolidation services for MicraGEM-Si™. Micralyne will also provide this platform directly to companies that would like to purchase a full fabrication run or who need customization of the technology.
“Our MicraGEM-Si™ platform is ideally suited for the manufacture of tilting mirrors and mirror arrays for variable optical attenuators (VOA) and wavelength selective switch (WSS) modules, commonly used in fiber optic telecom networks. We have been developing and manufacturing this process technology for lead customers for the past three years, and now we can offer it widely with a comprehensive design guide through CMC Microsystems.” said Collin Twanow, Micralyne’s vice president of sales and marketing.
“The MicraGEM-Si™ platform is a unique offering to our MEMS clients,” said Alex Edwards, vice-president of commercial operations for CMC Microsystems. “This partnership with Micralyne ensures both a seamless path from design confirmation to volume manufacturing for industrial R&D, and research access for academic inquiry.”
The platform consists of an SOI (silicon-on-insulator) base wafer with customer-defined cavities, support posts, and electrical wiring. A top SOI wafer, with optional cavities, is then fusion-bonded to the base wafer. The handle wafer is removed, leaving a precise thickness MEMS device layer. A patterned metal layer is added for high reflectivity, circuit routing, and wire bonding. The top side of the wafer can be patterned and etched to release the MEMS devices. Micralyne’s unique process capability provides high-yield wafer bonding after several masks of pattern and etch. Alignment tolerance between the bottom layers and the final top silicon layer is within +/- 0.4 microns. This allows for complex structures such as staggered vertical comb-drive actuators, providing low voltage operation and a linear voltage vs. tilt response for micro-mirrors.
The design submission deadline for the first build of MicraGEM-Si™ is June 4, 2014. Successive campaigns will have design submission deadlines of October 8, 2014, and February 17, 2015. The MicraGEM-Si™ Design Guide can be accessed through CMC Microsystems’ website at: www.cmc.ca/MicraGEM-Si
Micralyne features the MicraGEM-Si™ Platform in Booth #1903 at the Optical Fiber Communication (OFC 2014) trade show in San Francisco, California, March 11 -13, 2014. A MicraGEM-Si™ white paper is available at http://www.micralyne.com/MicraGEM-Si/