Rogue Valley Microdevices (RVM), a MEMS foundry service provider, announced this week that it has acquired cleanroom equipment from the 10,000 square foot decommissioned Intel facility in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The company said that it is planning a large expansion of its fabrication facilities. Rogue Valley Microdevices currently operates a 13,000 square foot facility with a 2,500 square foot cleanroom. This acquisition of Intel equipment will enable the expansion and upgrade the company's existing wafer fabrication facility. RVM is already fully operational in a wide range of equipment in the 200 mm (8 inch) platform, and processes up to 10,000 wafers per month with substrate sizes ranging from two to eight inches.
The company is now actively looking for a building to house the newly purchased cleanroom and process equipment. "Our preference is to build a new building and bring our newly acquired equipment to our main location in Medford, Oregon," said RVM’s founder and CEO Jessica Gomez.
Rogue Valley Microdevices has a five-year plan to expand to a 50,000 square foot facility with a comprehensive set of 8 and 12 inch substrate process capabilities. The company is positioning itself as the leading MEMS foundry for biomedical and optical devices, as well as scientific prototyping applications.
Working with customers from North America, Europe and Asia, RVM is currently primarily servicing R&D and pilot production projects. The company’s typical customers are academic and national research laboratories, medium-sized fabless or "fab-light" companies, and equipment manufacturers. According to Gomez, the medium-sized fabless, or "fab-light", companies are Rogue Valley Microdevices’ most significant revenue source.
Rogue Valley Microdevices focuses on front-end MEMS processing such as thin-film deposition, photolithography and full device fabrication. The company also provides standard semiconductor processing such as metal etching and patterning. RVM does not provide packaging or other back-end processes. "We currently plan to stay focused on front-end fabrication services, and continue to build partnerships with back-end service providers," Gomez said.
RVM's founders, Jessica Gomez and Patrick Kayatta, previously worked for Integrated Micromachines, an optical startup company based in Monrovia, California. Jessica and Pat founded Rogue Valley Microdevices in 2003 as an independent MEMS foundry when Integrated Micromachines shut down operations.
To date, Rogue Valley Microdevices has funded its expansion with bank financing and investments from its founders. While the company does not currently have equity investors, Gomez said that RVM may seek outside funding for future expansions.