United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC), a global semiconductor foundry, and MEMS foundry Asia Pacific Microsystems (APM), this week announced a collaboration to provide enhanced MEMS manufacturing services for mutual customers. UMC will leverage its 8-inch and 12-inch production capabilities with APM's 6-inch fab, MEMS know-how, and prototyping experience to provide chip designers with a flexible and scalable end-to-end MEMS manufacturing solution.
"UMC has been highly successful in producing MEMS products for microphone, accelerometer. and environmental sensor applications," said S.C. Chien, Senior Vice President of Corporate Marketing division at UMC. "Partnering with APM allows us to broaden our MEMS addressable market to serve a wider range of customers targeting the growing Internet of Things (IoT) sector, such as system companies, module providers and designers of new MEMS chips. This alliance will also provide customers with greater working model flexibility, as APM can provide full turnkey service, MEMS prototyping and small volume manufacturing, while UMC delivers process porting capability for mainstream, volume production MEMS products that are ready to migrate to more productive and cost effective 8-inch manufacturing. Moreover, customers can combine their MEMS modules with UMC's advanced 12-inch CMOS fab processes to introduce state-of-the-art MEMS features within an ASIC design."
The emerging IoT era is driving the rapid growth of MEMS sensors and actuators within today's smart devices. According to the companies, the joint effort of UMC and APM's engineering teams will help shorten the initial MEMS development cycle and provide ample, scalable production capacity with competitive manufacturing efficiency to successfully and rapidly commercialize MEMS chips for foundry customers.
K.H. Jao, president of APM said, "APM brings over 15 years of MEMS experience in design, manufacturing and packaging to our partnership with UMC. Our flexible process capability and process module blocks address different customized chip requirements including sensor, actuators, and microstructures, which enable customers to streamline their unique MEMS IC designs to market. We are excited to cooperate with UMC, and believe that the synergies created not only by our two companies' complementary services, but also by our close proximity in Hsinchu to UMC and numerous semiconductor suppliers such as MEMS packaging and testing providers, will provide unmatched speed and supply chain advantages to MEMS customers worldwide."
Founded in 2001, APM is currently running 6-inch MEMS wafer fab at Hsinchu Science Park of Taiwan. APM is ISO 9001, ISO14001 and TS16949 certified.
UMC's process technologies include volume production of ultra-low power platform processes specifically engineered for Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The company also offer AEC-Q100 Grade-0 manufacturing capabilities for production of the automotive ICs. UMC's 10 wafer fabs are located throughout Asia and are able to produce over 500,000 wafers per month. The company employs more than 17,000 people worldwide, with offices in Taiwan, mainland China, Europe, Japan, Korea, Singapore, and the United States.
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