ST, SAES Getters partnership eyes booming MEMS gyroscope biz

May 17, 2007 – STMicroelectronics and the SAES Getters Group say they will integrate SAES’ PageWafer getter thin-film technology, used in high-vacuums in wafer-level packaged MEMS devices, into ST’s next-generation MEMS gyroscopes, targeting consumer devices, gaming, and navigation devices.

The devices will be produced at ST’s 200mm fabrication line in Agrate, Italy (near Milan), which was upgraded late last year. ST has already begun pilot production and qualification for its first-generation gyroscopes, with a production ramp planned for 1H08.

The new gyroscopes will complement ST’s existing two- and three-axis MEMS accelerometers to create a complete inertial sensor platform, ST noted in a press release. The company is eyeing what analysts say will be big business for MEMS gyroscopes — tripling in size to >$1.2 billion market by 2012 — mainly for consumer devices such as motion-user interfaces, and image stabilizers in digital cameras/camcorders.

“The market for MEMS motion sensors in consumer electronics is one of our most challenging targets and the integration of PageWafer technology into STMicroelectronics’ advanced MEMS gyroscopes surely represents an important qualification of our getter film products for use in these MEMS applications,” stated Marco Moraja, getters for MEMS business development manager at SAES Getters.

In the same statement, Benedetto Vigna, GM of STMicroelectronics’ MEMS product division, noted that the integration of SAES’ getter process into ST’s MEMS device production “offers a significant opportunity for ST to further expand its fast growing MEMS business.”


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