MEMs Fabrication Process Breakthrough Is High Volume and Low-Cost For The Consumer Market

InvenSense, Inc., the leading provider of integrated motion sensing solutions for mobile consumer electronics, today revealed its patented MEMS fabrication technology called "Nasiri-Fabrication" used for the mass production of inertial sensors. Nasiri-Fabrication is the world's first MEMS fabrication platform to use a patented wafer-to-wafer bonding process that directly integrates pre-fabricated MEMS wafers to off-the-shelf CMOS wafers at the wafer level; the process also simultaneously provides hermetic sealing of all critical MEMS elements at wafer level. InvenSense pioneered the application of the Nasiri-Fabrication process with the development of its flagship product family of integrated dual-axis gyroscopes (IDG), now in high-volume production with millions of units shipped to consumer electronics makers and at price points more than ten times lower than competitive MEMS gyroscope providers that are serving primarily automotive applications.

The advent of the Nasiri-Fabrication process enabled InvenSense to bring low-cost, low-power, integrated gyroscopes to market for a wide range of mobile consumer products including digital cameras, camera phones and smart phones, 3D input devices, remote controllers and portable navigation devices.

"In a very short time, InvenSense has accomplished both technology and product development successes that other MEMS leaders have not achieved with many years of research and development effort," said Jean-Christophe Eloy, general manager of YOLE Development, the French-based market research and strategy consulting company focused on MEMS and disruptive semiconductor technologies. "This re-invention of the way MEMS devices are manufactured and packaged, for the dual-axis gyro motion sensing market as an example, is a great validation of the impact the Nasiri-Fabrication process will have on the MEMS business overall."

"Our fabrication platform addresses the most critical aspects of any MEMS-based product, mainly the cost of packaging and testing, which has traditionally been greater than 80 percent of the total cost of the product," said Ram Krishnan, Vice President of Operations for InvenSense. "We have effectively reduced the cost of the final product by staggering amounts for this industry, along with offering better performance in smaller package sizes."

Nasiri-Fabrication supports a wide range of MEMS devices including gyroscopes, accelerometers, rotation sensors, actuators, and potentially many other MEMS devices. This process is particularly suitable for MEMS capacitive type sensing-detection devices or products requiring actuators or very low-level signal detection. Unlike many MEMS inertial sensor manufacturers that must go through interconnects and wire bond to a companion chip, Nasiri-Fabrication process combines the MEMS to the CMOS allowing for direct electrical interconnection between the MEMS and its appropriate circuits. Though the process uses off-the-shelf wafer bonding equipment, the bonding technology itself is patented and proprietary, allowing for a eutectic bonding of the MEMS wafers directly to the aluminum layer on the CMOS wafer without the addition of any other layers on the aluminum. Nasiri-Fabrication reduces wafer-scale integration and packaging to a single step in the process by making electrical interconnects between the MEMS and CMOS. The process streamlines wafer-scale packaging by providing fully hermetic sealing of the sensitive MEMS structures.

"Fabless MEMS companies are at a major disadvantage compared to their fabless semiconductor counter parts, in large part due to a lack of any available MEMS fabrication solution that can meet their cost and high volume production needs," said Steven Nasiri, CEO and Founder of InvenSense. "Nasiri-Fabrication is the reason we can bring our innovative dual-axis gyroscope products to the market in record time and at much lower price points, which will continue to drive our future innovation in MEMS product development."

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