Process is MUSiC to FLX Micro’s ears

Nov. 22, 2002 — FLX Micro said it has finished the first manufacturing run of a micromachining process using a material it said is stronger and more durable than standard silicon.

Ohio-based FLX, formerly FiberLead Inc., calls its process MUSiC, or multi-user silicon carbide, prototyping service. MUSiC combines multiple chip designs onto a single substrate, allowing designs from different users to be made simultaneously, the company said.

Andrea Leppart, FLX’s vice president of business development, said the company has devised a cost-effective process for using silicon carbide (SiC), a diamond-like material that can withstand high-temperature or chemically corrosive environments but traditionally has been costly and hard to make.

“Silicon has been used because MEMS grew out of the integrated circuit industry,” she said. “However, for many MEMS devices, silicon is not the best material from a performance perspective. … We’ve taken an advanced material and made it compatible with micromachining and affordable.”

FLX said its inaugural MUSiC run contained designs from 13 international customers from several industries, including automotive, biomedical, consumer products and communications.

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