Tronics Microsystems and Alcatel to Jointly Develop Extreme-Performance MEMS Technology

Tronics Microsystems SA, a global leader in manufacturing custom MEMS components for demanding applications, and Alcatel Micro Machining Systems, a leading manufacturer of deep reactive ion etching (DRIE) systems for MEMS and 3D semiconductors, today announced a joint development project (JDP) on DRIE for extreme-performance MEMS.

The collaboration will leverage the companies’ complementary strengths to develop next-generation advanced DRIE process technology for high-performance MEMS and to establish a new performance benchmark for the MEMS industry. Alcatel Micro Machining Systems (AMMS) is recognized for its leadership in supplying high-speed deep plasma etching systems for fabricating MEMS and 3D semiconductors. Tronics has developed unique test tools and methodologies for tracking process-failure modes and has established precise statistical process control (SPC) indicators for MEMS production. Tronics also is an acknowledged leader in applying advanced DRIE on thick SOI micromachining technologies for manufacturing high-performance custom sensors and actuators for the instrumentation, life sciences, automotive and aerospace industries.

Recognized for its industry-leading high-aspect-ratio micromachining technologies for custom inertial transducers, Tronics will utilize its robust test protocols to evaluate and qualify new, advanced DRIE manufacturing processes from AMMS, and will provide SPC feed-back. With that data, AMMS will build on its DRIE leadership by further enhancing its process solutions for new, advanced high-aspect-ratio, high-yield and manufacturing-proven processes. In return, Tronics will receive priority access to the company’s latest process modules and quality services.

“We are constantly working to improve our process capabilities. It is a great opportunity for us to benefit from Tronics’ unique manufacturing experience in high- performance SOI-based inertial transducers and 3D packaging to qualify our future DRIE process modules with them,” said Jean-Marc Gruffat, director of products at AMMS. “Our goal is to push the limits of high-aspect-ratio DRIE processes with high- accuracy controlled profile, excellent uniformity and reproducibility in order to provide our customers best-in-class, manufacturing-proven and high-yield DRIE production tools for next-generation MEMS and 3D semiconductors.”

“With this extension of our long-running relationship with AMMS we are committing to provide our customers with the latest process solutions for their extreme- performance products,” said Dr. Stéphane Renard, Tronics’ director of research and advanced technologies. “This partnership marks a major milestone in strengthening our technological and market leadership in manufacturing custom products for demanding applications.”

The development project will take advantage of Tronics’ productization expertise and proven track record in manufacturing and supplying custom MEMS transducers, such as MEMS geophones for the seismic oil exploration industry, miniature SMD accelerometers for cardiac-rhythm management and, more recently, in developing custom MEMS gyros transducers for aerospace and automotive customers.

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