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Posted: Nov 04, 2011

Silex Microsystems Expands Adoption of Sil-Via Platform; Licenses Technology to Nanoshift

(Nanowerk News) Silex Microsystems, the world's largest pure-play MEMS foundry, announced it has licensed its Silex Sil-Via platform, a through-silicon via (TSV) packaging technology, to Nanoshift for use in early development of complex MEMS products. The license agreement demonstrates the growing adoption of the Silex Sil-Via technology through industry partnerships, core to Silex's strategy to enable its customers to quickly and cost effectively bringing MEMS devices from initial concept to volume production.
"Through Silex Sil-Via license agreements, Silex continues to execute on its strategy to make it easier for customers to conceive of complex MEMS devices, develop prototypes and then rapidly transition those designs into volume production," said Peter Himes, vice president of marketing and strategic alliances for Silex Microsystems. "Through this license, MEMS customers can leverage Silex's extensive experience in MEMS, and capitalize on Nanoshift's highly-skilled design and development teams to more rapidly bring their MEMS products to market."
The Silex Sil-Via platform has a successful history of volume production and utilizes the latest TSV packaging technology, which enables smaller form factors, lowers cost and allows customers to add increased functionality to their MEMS devices. Through the Silex Sil-Via license, Nanoshift can speed their customers' time to market by reducing development time, project risk and ensure a seamless transition to full-scale production in Silex's 6-inch and 8-inch wafer manufacturing facilities.
"The Silex Sil-Via platform has become the go-to TSV technology in the MEMS industry because it has been proven in many high-volume applications," said Salah Uddin, co-founder of Nanoshift. "By making this complete platform available to our innovative design teams, Nanoshift can deliver a much-needed development solution for customers to accelerate the commercialization of complex MEMS devices."
MEMS Are Everywhere
MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) is a technology that enables the development of smart products by using miniaturized mechanical and electro-mechanical elements. MEMS are tiny devices that pack an incredible amount of technology and functionality, and can be found in many everyday products such as cell phones, medical devices, bio-medical products, washing machines, kitchen appliances, inkjet printers, video game pads, disk drives, robotics, projection displays, and more.
The challenge with MEMS is the complexity of the technology, which traditionally takes significant design and development time to reach the volume capacity required of consumer applications. Because of this complexity, many customers can experience significant delays in productizing new MEMS devices because finished designs do not easily transition to volume production. The Silex Sil-Via technology platform will allow Nanoshift customers to develop MEMS products from the beginning with an engineered solution that is inherently compatible with proven, full production manufacturing support, ultimately reducing schedule risk and project cost.
About the Silex Sil-Via Platform
Silex Sil-Via is a proprietary technology for through silicon via (TSV) interconnects, a key technology that enables higher density IO and smaller form factors in MEMS products. The Silex Sil-Via platform is a full-wafer thickness via comprised of a DRIE etched post surrounded by an isolating material. The resulting interconnect is low impedance, mechanically robust, and avoids the thermal mismatch of metal based via technologies. The Silex Sil-Via platform can be implemented as an integral part of MEMS processing or used at the wafer-level packaging level. Silex brought this platform to production in 2006 for mobile applications and it has been in continual high volume production for over five years. Silex Sil-Via has been used successfully on over 100 products, and is now available through Nanoshift.
About Silex Microsystems
Silex Microsystems is the world's largest pure-play MEMS foundry. We service the advanced MEMS and heterogeneous packaging needs of the world's leading companies. With production operations totaling 25,000 square feet with dedicated lines for both 6" and 8" wafers, Silex has successfully completed over 300 MEMS programs with over 100 corporate customers, including 12 of the world's top 30 MEMS companies. Silex's Sil-ViaŽ has provided advanced TSV solutions in production for over 5 years. Silex's core technologies enable some of the world's brightest innovations. For more information, please visit www.silexmicrosystems.com.
About Nanoshift LLC
Nanoshift LLC is a privately held design and development company that specializes in emerging technologies. Founded in 2005, it has become a leader in high technology research, design, development and low volume fabrication. Its founders realized the need for fab-less process development and fabrication tailored for MEMS, microfluidics, nanotechnology, and the solar industry. Development work traditionally done at production foundries is frequently slow, limited and difficult. The alternative of maintaining captive fabrication facilities by individual companies have proven to be expensive, resulting as an entry barrier for startups and as sizable opportunity costs for larger companies with facilities focused on optimization and production. The solution was to form a company that could offer the resources and expertise these emerging technologies need to succeed. Nanoshift has become this company, offering its premier services globally for startups and large corporations within the realm of high technology. For more information, please visit www.nanoshift.net.
Source: Silex Microsystems (press release)
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