TSMC announces entry into MEMS market

May 5, 2008 – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC) has unveiled plans to enter the MEMS business, presenting a roadmap of the MEMS process and desires to cover trends in MEMS production at “CMOS integrated MEMS foundries,” according to Nikkei Microdevices magazine, citing comments from a press meeting last week. A more detailed version will be presented later this month.

TSMC has shown interest in MEMS manufacturing for some time. Nearly a year ago, SVTC Technologies (spun out from Cypress Semiconductor in March 2007) unveiled a strategic technology incubation program with TSMC, to streamline the transfer of designs from SVTC’s fab to high-volume manufacturing. At the time, Ken Chen, director of mainstream technology marketing at TSMC, said the partnership “expands the TSMC ecosystem to enable more innovations by allowing companies, especially those who need special equipment, to develop products at SVTC and transfer accepted business smoothly to TSMC manufacturing.”

SVTC has characterized itself as unusual in offering MEMS and CMOS integration on 200mm wafers.

Just last month, the French MEMS foundry Tronics Microsystems and IMEC, representing Europractice IC Service, announced a collaboration to add MEMS to its multiproject wafer (MPW) programs. Europractice IC Service helps universities, research institutes, and companies realize their goals for ASIC design and manufacturing. The organization offers prototyping and small-volume production through MPW and dedicated wafer runs at leading foundries and IC manufacturers, including TSMC.

Read the original report from Nikkei Microdevices.

Reporting by SST sister publication Small Times.

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