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Posted: March 12, 2008
Europractice IC Service Expands to MEMS Prototyping
(Nanowerk News) Tronics Microsystems SA, a leading global manufacturer of custom MEMS components for demanding applications, and IMEC, representing Europractice IC Service, announced today their collaboration to enable Europractice IC Service to add MEMS to its Multi-Project Wafer (MPW) programs. Tronics, the leader in custom MEMS on SOI, 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.
As a recognized leader and pioneer in SOI MEMS technologies, Tronics was 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 innovative mechanical structures.
“We are delighted to welcome Tronics Microsystems to our team of leading technology providers and to offer now the most advanced MEMS on SOI technology as part of this strategic extension of our production portfolio,” said Carl Das, director of Europractice IC Services. “It is an important step towards our ultimate goal to offer Silicon On Chip (SOC) solutions to our customers and research partners.”
“Tronics is proud to be the first MEMS manufacturer to join Europractice IC Service’s MEMS initiative and to be included among the global industry leaders who support its programs and who meet IMEC’s stringent requirements,” said Vincent Gaff, Tronics’ manager of marketing and business development. “IMEC will provide its broad academic customer base with technical and commercial support for our SOI MPW technology, with the same quality standards it has been providing for ICs during the last 13 years.”
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.
About Tronics Microsystems SA
Tronics Microsystems is a custom developer and manufacturer of highly differentiated, high value-add MEMS components and microsystems. Collaborating with customers from concept to implementation, Tronics provides solutions and expertise in the productization and supply chain management of smart components. The company is the No. 1 provider of custom products based on SOI MEMS technologies. For four consecutive years, it has been ranked among the fastest-growing companies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa by the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA survey and twice as the fastest growing semiconductor/equipment company in France. Tronics’ production facility is based in Crolles, France, and includes a 150mm-wafer MEMS manufacturing line and full product characterization, assembly, packaging and test capabilities. Visit www.tronics.eu for more information.
IMEC is a world-leading independent research center in nanoelectronics and nanotechnology. Its research focuses on the next generations of chips and systems, and on the enabling technologies for ambient intelligence. IMEC’s research bridges the gap between fundamental research at universities and technology development in industry. Its unique balance of processing and system know-how, intellectual property portfolio, state-of-the-art infrastructure and its strong network of companies, universities and research institutes worldwide position IMEC as a key partner for shaping technologies for future systems. IMEC is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, has a sister company in the Netherlands, IMEC Nederland, concentrating on wireless autonomous transducer solutions, and has representatives in the US, China, Japan and Taiwan. Its staff of more than 1,600 people includes more than 500 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2007, its revenue (P&L) is estimated at about EUR 235 million. Further information on IMEC can be found on www.imec.be.
About Europractice IC Service
The Europractice Service, offered by IMEC, was launched by the European Commission (DGIII) in October 1995 to help companies improve their competitive position in world markets by adopting ASIC, Multi-Chip Module (MCM) or Microsystems solutions in the products they manufacture. The program helps to reduce the perceived risks and costs associated with these technologies by offering potential users a range of services, including initial advice and ongoing support, reduced entry costs and a clear route to chip manufacture and product supply.
Today more than 650 European universities and research institutes and several hundreds of companies and non-European universities use the Europractice IC service for prototyping and small volume fabrication.
Information about Europractice IC Service is available at www.europractice-ic.com/.