November 7, 2011 — MEMS foundry Silex Microsystems and MEMS development firm A.M. Fitzgerald & Associates completed a multi-year collaboration on medical and biotech MEMS development. They halved device development time using the Silex Sil-Via platform and AMFitzgerald’s prototyping and design.
AMFitzgerald worked with Silex Microsystems’ Sil-Via technology platform early in the development process. This grounds-up approach and close collaboration resulted in a 6-month development cycle of several MEMS designs that are now ready to go into volume production in Silex’s advanced 6" and 8" fabs. The projects typically would require a year or more to complete, the companies report.
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Silex Microsystems is developing "a partner ecosystem" to accelerate projects like this, said Peter Himes, VP of marketing and strategic alliances for Silex Microsystems. The key was Silex’s "proven, standardized process modules," made accessible to the project developers, said Dr. Alissa M. Fitzgerald, founder and managing member of AMFitzgerald.
AMFitzgerald integrated Silex’s Sil-Via standard through silicon via (TSV) and wafer-level packaging (WLP) technologies in the very first prototypes, identifying and addressing issues early on in the process. This avoided problems during foundry transfer and ramp-up. 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 companies concluded that array-based sensors, such as imaging or diagnostic arrays that require high-density I/O and small form factors, would benefit the most from the Sil-Via designs and the DfM process. BioMEMS, motion sensors, oscillators, optical sensors and pressure sensors are examples.
Silex Microsystems is a pure-play MEMS foundry. For more information, please visit www.silexmicrosystems.com.
AMFitzgerald offers MEMS product development. Internet: http://amfitzgerald.com/.