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A*Star IME’s Consortium to Deepen Capabilities in Mems Technologies for Industrial Internet of things, Automotive, and Indoor Navigation Applications

A*STAR IME’s collaborative partnership with industry will enable the development of cutting-edge industrial-grade sensors to heighten performance and achieve cost-effectiveness for MEMS devices

A*STAR’s Institute of Microelectronics (IME) has launched its third consortium to develop cutting-edge micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) technologies. This would allow MEMS sensor devices to achieve better performance, higher power efficiency and smaller form factor.

The MEMS Consortium III comprises leading industry members Applied Materials, Coventor, Delta Electronics, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, InvenSense, SPTS Technologies, Standing Egg, ULVAC, Inc., Veeco and an electronics company. It will draw on IME’s expertise in MEMS sensors and process platform capabilities to develop industrial-grade inertial sensors and pressure sensors for adoption into a wide range of products and applications, such as electronic stability control, asset tracking, unmanned aerial vehicles, automotive and wearable devices. To achieve this, they will focus on bridging the gaps in performance, cost and size between existing industrial-grade inertial sensors and current MEMS sensors.

The consortium will also develop an aluminum nitride (AlN) frequency modulated MEMS inertial measurement unit, including a 3-axis accelerometer, a 3-axis gyroscope, a pressure sensor, as well as associated AIN inertial process platform and process design kits. AlN MEMS inertial sensors have several advantages over current MEMS sensors such as noise immunity, higher sensitivity, better linearity and simpler readout circuit design. These sensors also have a high potential in meeting industrial-grade performance requirements at a lower cost and smaller footprint.

As demand for MEMS devices in consumer, automotive and industrial sectors continues to grow, the industry faces complex challenges in developing devices with more advanced functionality, a smaller footprint and higher performance at lower cost. Research and development (R&D) in MEMS and sensor technology will be critical in addressing these challenges and paving the way for the mass adoption of MEMS devices in a wide range of applications. The MEMS market is expected to be worth more than US$22 billion by 2018.

In its second MEMS consortium, IME and its industry partners successfully developed advanced capabilities in product-oriented MEMS devices such as an energy harvester, an oscillator and a magnetometer. For details, please refer to Annex A.

Our achievements in MEMS technologies are a result of close collaboration with industry, and show that technological advances are made possible through open innovation. As we leverage our combined R&D expertise and industry experience to develop innovative and cost-effective technology solutions, we will drive the mass production and commercialisation of next-generation electronic devices.

Prof. Dim-Lee Kwong, Executive Director of IME

“GLOBALFOUNDRIES is a founding member of the MEMS consortium hosted by IME. By participating in this third consortium, we hope to partner with leaders in the MEMS industry on technology innovations to strengthen our MEMS technology portfolio, with the goal to provide broader technology capabilities and innovative solutions to our customers,” said Dr. Rakesh Kumar, Senior Director for MEMS Program of GLOBALFOUNDRIES.

It is vital to create vibrant R&D partnerships to enable faster commercialisation of innovative solutions. IME’s MEMS consortia are an open innovation platform that allows us to identify and develop best in class technologies and products in the More-than-Moore and beyond Moore era.

Mr. Mo Maghsoudnia, Vice President of Technology and Worldwide Manufacturing of InvenSense.

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