March 11, 2008 — Tronics Microsystems SA, a manufacturer of custom MEMS components for demanding applications, and IMEC, representing Europractice IC Service, announced their collaboration to enable Europractice IC Service to add MEMS to its Multi-Project Wafer (MPW) programs. Tronics is the first technology provider selected by IMEC to support Europractice IC Service’s extension of its production portfolio to MEMS and will provide the program access to one of its MEMS on SOI technologies through regular MPW runs. The service, which is effective today, will target training, prototyping, and innovation at universities and research labs.
Since 1995, Europractice IC Service has brought ASIC design and manufacturing capability within the technical and financial reach of any university, research institute and company. Coordinated by IMEC, it offers low-cost ASIC prototyping and ASIC small-volume production through MPW and dedicated wafer runs at leading foundries and IC manufacturers, including AMI Semiconductor, austriamicrosystems, IHP, TSMC, and UMC.
Tronics claims to be the first MEMS manufacturer to offer a qualified industrial SOI-MEMS technology in an MPW service. The French manufacturer first offered a 20µm-thick SOI technology on MPW in 1999. The company upgraded its capabilities to 60µm-thick SOI High Aspect Ratio Micromachining with hermetic wafer level packaging in 2006. This technology was originally introduced for the production of high-performance accelerometers and gyros. The process enables the creation of capacitive sensors, electrostatic actuators, resonators, energy scavengers, and other mechanical structures.
Through the partnership, IMEC will provide support and access to the MPW service to the university and research lab members of the Europractice IC Service throughout the world.