X-FAB Silicon Foundries announced this week that it has reached a major milestone in further expanding its MEMS manufacturing capabilities in two of its German locations, Erfurt and Itzehoe. According to the company, driven by increased customer demand for MEMS manufacturing services, the expansion includes two new dedicated MEMS fabs with cleanroom space totaling more than 2,000 square meters (21,500 square feet). MEMS devices manufactured at X-FAB include pressure sensors, micro-mirrors, microphones and microfluidic devices used in mobile, consumer, medical and automotive applications. Customers requiring CMOS and MEMS solutions also benefit from access to X-FAB's existing CMOS wafer fabrication facilities.
"These two expansions come at an exciting time for X-FAB as the MEMS industry continues to grow," said Dr. Peter Merz, MEMS Business Unit Manager at X-FAB. "With the two new dedicated MEMS fabs, we are well prepared for volume MEMS manufacturing and able to meet the growing demand we see from our customers."
In Erfurt, X-FAB will access 1,300 square meters (14,000 square feet) of new manufacturing space dedicated for MEMS operations alongside its existing CMOS and MEMS semiconductor fabs on site. The new cleanroom will be used for high-volume manufacturing of 200mm MEMS and related processes with the first equipment to be installed in December this year.
In Itzehoe, X-FAB is moving its operation into a new 1,000 square meters (10,800 square feet) fab commonly used with Fraunhofer ISIT, a German-based research institute for microelectronics and microsystems technology also located in Itzehoe. The new 200mm fab enables X-FAB to increase manufacturing capacity and expand its process capabilities. In addition, X-FAB will expand its R&D cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute. The Itzehoe fab was officially opened on May 28, 2014 with the first tools already installed.
Dr. Merz added, "X-FAB offers its customers a great variety of CMOS processes for analog/mixed signal, high-voltage and power applications in unique combination with a wide range of MEMS process capabilities. Customers benefit from this one-stop-shopping approach by getting outstanding quality and high-volume manufacturing service. In addition, X-FAB simplifies the supply chain by supporting integration and interface challenges on all levels."
X-FAB has also been exhibiting its open-platform MEMS based 3-axis inertial sensor process that is now available for volume manufacturing. According to the company, this MEMS process technology is suitable for a wide range of applications that use 3D accelerometers or gyroscopes such as mobile devices, consumer goods, games and toys, automotive, robotics, industrial and medical equipment. X-FAB said that its 3-axis inertial sensor technology comes with a complete set of design rules, process specifications and the company's own design-rule checking software to verify designs prior to silicon production.
In addition to its MEMS sensor process technologies, X-FAB also recently announced the availability of its modular CMOS process technologies for implementing sensing applications, signal conditioning and signal processing devices. For example, for designers of opto-electric sensors, the company makes available the IP for diodes and transistors that can be used in light-sensing applications.
X-FAB is an analog/mixed-signal and MEMS foundry manufacturing silicon wafers for automotive, industrial, consumer, medical and other applications. The company's CMOS processes range in geometries from 1.0 to 0.18 µm, and include specialized BCD and SOI. X-Fab has five production facilities in Germany, Malaysia and the US, and employs 2,400 people worldwide.
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