DelfMEMS announced this week that since early 2011 it has collaborated with Tronics' MEMS fab in Dallas, Texas on the RF MEMS switch process transfer and platform qualification. With steady progress made over the past six months, DelfMEMS and Tronics say they will be able to address the high capacity needs of RF module makers for the cellular handset market. DelfMEMS, based in France, said that its selection process among US, European and Asian MEMS foundries was undertaken in late 2010 and the company then identified Tronics as the best positioned company to meet DelfMEMS' RF switch technology process requirements. Tronics' thin film capping solution and business sourcing channels were also attractive.
"Volume requirements for the handset market, which DelfMEMS is targeting with their initial products, are significant, approaching 200 million units per year. By utilizing our strengths and experience in volume manufacturing, MEMS process technology, and our proven Quality Management System (QMS) methodologies Tronics is well positioned to effectively address the challenging requirements of these supply chains, including volume scalability, low cost and high yield. This experience and operational capability enables us to deliver the highest quality product on time and at a competitive price to DelfMEMS' customers and RF module partners," said Brian Stephenson, CEO of Tronics' operations in Dallas.
The initial focus has been on an extensive pre-qualification of DelfMEMS RF switch platform (SPST/SPDT) to achieve consistently targeted performance requirements, and also to address supply chain compatibility with flip-chip assembly, module overmolding, and integrated multi-channel drivers to meet low switching speeds and reliability requirements in hot/cold RF switching cycle.
"This is our second RF MEMS switch process transfer and it is confirming the maturity and manufacturability of our RF switch design platform within a high volume MEMS foundry like Tronics," said Dr. Olivier Millet, CEO of DelfMEMS.
DelfMEMS develops and markets RF switches based on MEMS technology. The company says its customers are automatic test equipment (ATE) manufacturers, RF front-end modules manufacturers, semiconductor industry, telecom infrastructures manufacturers and others. After completing an agreement with one Tier-1 global cellular network operator, DelfMEMS says it is continuing to make headway across the complete cellular handset ecosystem.
Based on Tronics' manufacturing capabilities, combined with a broad range of RF module makers, DelfMEMS said it will have dependable sourcing options to build a broad range of products based upon RF switch blocks (SPnT), RF Tuning blocks and more. These new products will address the needs and challenges of RF front-end architecture scalability driven by multi-band/multi-mode complexity like LTE 4G of next generation handset, smartphone and other wireless devices.
Tronics is a full-service commercial MEMS foundry With wafer fabs in France and the US, and representation in Asia. Tronics' services range from MEMS design, to high-volume MEMS manufacturing. The company also develops supply chains for delivery of MEMS ranging from wafers to integrated custom components, and also supports earlier phases of projects where prototyping is required. Founded in 1997, Tronics has 14 years of experience in developing, manufacturing, and packaging accelerometers, gyroscopes, micropumps, pressure sensors, switches, biodetectors and other MEMS devices.
This article is a part of MEMS Investor Journal's ongoing market research project in the area of RF MEMS technologies and applications. If you would like to receive our comprehensive market research report on this topic, please contact Dr. Mike Pinelis at [email protected] for more information about rates and report contents.