X-Fab offering MEMS 3D inertial sensor process

September 19, 2012 – X-Fab Silicon Foundries has debuted an open-platform MEMS 3D inertial sensor process, the first to be made available directly from a high-volume pure-play foundry, it claims. The new technology is suitable for a wide range of applications that use 3D accelerometers or gyroscopes: mobile devices, consumer goods, games and toys, automotive, robotics, and industrial and medical equipment.

The new technology features robust, single-crystal silicon for inertial masses and drive-combs, proprietary buried contact technology that supports complex metal interconnects using a single metal layer, low parasitic capacitance, and EMI protection. It was developed using X-FAB’s step-by-step qualification procedures to ensure the process is characterized, stable, and high-yielding. One- and 2-axis designs can be produced with the same process, and accelerometer and gyroscope designs can be placed side-by-side on a single chip enabling manufacture of "six degrees of freedom" (6DoF) inertial measurement units (IMU).

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"X-FAB’s open-platform processes launch a new era for the MEMS industry," proclaimed Iain Rutherford, X-FAB’s MEMS business line manager. "We are shifting the paradigm from the limiting ‘one product, one process’ rule to the open platform approach of giving any company access to a world-class quality process that can be used for multiple applications. It enables our customers to realize their goals in record time."

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