May 16, 2007 – The SAES Getters Group of Milan, Italy, known for its getter technology for high-vacuum applications, has signed an agreement with MEMS manufacturer STMicroelectronics to develop and produce next-generation MEMS gyroscopes. STMicroelectronics’ gyroscopes will integrate SAES’ PageWafer, which the partners call “the most advanced getter thin-film solution for high-vacuum maintenance in wafer-level packaged MEMS.” The result, they say, will deliver higher sensitivity and stability for measurement of angular speed.
The new gyroscopes will complement ST’s portfolio of two- and three-axis MEMS accelerometers to offer customers a complete inertial sensor platform. ST expects to ramp to industrial volume production in the first half of 2008.
Combining small size, high sensitivity and low power consumption, ST’s MEMS gyro promise to enable new uses for a wide range of consumer applications (such as mobile phones, portable devices, MP3/MP4 players, PDAs, and gaming and navigation devices), a market in which analysts predict strong growth.
In November 2006, STMicroelectronics inaugurated a new 200mm (8-inch) semiconductor wafer fabrication line dedicated to MEMS devices. ST’s first-generation gyroscopes, currently under pilot production and qualification, will share this production line with its range of linear accelerometers.
SAES recently upgraded its PageWafer production line to process 8-inch size wafers, in addition to 4-, 5- and 6-inch. PageWafer promises long-term stability to a vacuum or an inert gas atmosphere in wafer-to-wafer hermetically bonded MEMS devices.
In addition to supplying PageWafer technology, SAES Getters will support STMicroelectronics with technological consulting for the hermetic package design and characterization, as far as vacuum requirement definition, and it will also provide outgassing and residual gas-analysis service.