Baolab expands NEMS fab technology in pursuit of CMOS-integrated IMU

May 8, 2012 — Baolab Microsystems will modify the structures of its 3D NanoCompass to build a range of other motion sensors, with the end-goal of low-cost, smart, reconfigurable inertial measurement units (IMUs). Baolab creates nano electro mechanical systems (NEMS) within standard CMOS wafer metal structures via its NanoEMS technology, an order of magnitude smaller than MEMS built on the surface of the wafer and also at a fraction of the cost made via high-volume manufacturing.

Baolab has designed ways to modify its NEMS structures to create gyroscopes, accelerometers, and magnetometers, said Dave Doyle, Baolab’s CEO. Baolab can build combinations of these sensors on the same chip, simultaneously with associated electronics. These multi-sensor IMUs could be activated and configured dynamically as required by the application.

By building MEMS on standard CMOS production techniques, Baolab can “make as many as we like of whatever mix of sensors that are required at the same time, integrated with the analog and digital electronics running fusion software to make them smart,” said Doyle. The traditional way of making MEMS sensors requires a different production process to make each type of sensor.

"We will be introducing a series of nanosensor products as we work our way through the roadmap towards our goal of ultra low cost, smart, multi-sensor NanoIMUs," he concluded.

Baolab’s NanoEMS technology enables MEMS to be created inside the CMOS wafer using standard manufacturing techniques. To learn more, visit

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