Page 38

EETE FEB 2015

MEMS TECHNOLOGIES ST leads European research project on next-generation optical MEMS By SGraham Prophet TMicroelectronics has disclosed that it is to take a lead role in Lab4MEMS II, an extension that builds on the continuing success of the existing Lab4MEMS project, announced in April 2013. Lab4MEMS II focuses on Micro-Opto-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MOEMS) that merge MEMS with Micro-optics to sense or manipulate optical signals using integrated mechanical, optical, and electrical systems, while the original project maintains its emphasis on developing a pilot line for next-generation MEMS devices augmented with such advanced technologies as piezoelectric or magnetic materials and 3D packaging. Like its sister project, Lab4MEMS II is being launched by the European Nanoelectronics Initiative Advisory Council (ENIAC) Joint Undertaking (JU), a public-private partnership in nanoelectronics. Lab4MEMS II is a €26 million project with 20 industrial, academic, and research partners spread across nine European countries. Building on the established foundation and successes of the first Lab4MEMS project, the extension features ST as the coordinating partner, offering its complete range of manufacturing, technical, and organisational resources to Europe’s efforts to secure leadership in high-potential MOEMS. The Lab4MEMS II project focuses on designing, fabricating, and testing a variety of devices that include optical switches, arrays of micro-mirrors, optical cross-connects, lasers, and micro lenses using micro-optics and standard micromachining technologies to miniaturise and build advanced optical systems. MOEMS is seen as a platform for future valuable commercial products, such as optical switches, micro-mirror devices and dynamic displays, bi-stable devices, and optical shutters useful in micro-projectors, laser micro-scanners, new-generation Human Machine Interfaces, and micro-spectrometers. One goal of the project is to optimise the production of dual single-axis mirrors as well as to research the possibilities for the development of the dual-axis single mirror. Lab4MEMS II is a Key Enabling Technology (KET) Pilot-Line project contracted by the ENIAC JU to develop technologies and application areas with substantial societal impact. The Pilot Line for Lab4MEMS II will expand ST’s operational 200 mm-wafer manufacturing facility in Agrate Brianza for higher volumes, while adding optical technologies to the mix. It would increase the know-how on those strategic enabling technologies while combining scientific skills and the ability to design and manufacture a wide range of smart micro- and nano-systems on silicon. The project will evaluate the potential benefits and impact of a future move to 300mm wafers. The ENIAC JU is a public-private partnership involving ENIAC member states, the European Union, and the Association for European Nanoelectronics Activities (AENEAS). It is currently contributing some €1.8 billion towards the costs of numerous R&D projects, which it selects through a competitive process assessing responses to its Calls for Proposals. The Lab4MEMS II project, coordinated by ST, was selected for funding in Fall 2013 and work began in November 2014. In addition to ST, partners in the Lab4MEMS II project are: the Politecnico di Torino and di Milano; Consorzio Nazionale Interuniversitario per la Nanoelettronica; CNR-IMM MDM; Commissariat Al Energie Atomique Et Aux Energies Alternatives; ARKEMA SA; University of Malta; Okmetic Oyj; MURATA Electronics; VTT Memsfab Ltd; Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT; Aalto University; KLA-Tencor ICOS; University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest - CSSNT; Instytut Technologii Elektronowej; Warsaw; Stiftelsen SINTEF; Polewall AS; and Besi Austria GmbH. Maxim exits consumer MEMS, touch sensors By Peter Clarke Maxim Integrated Products Inc. has decided to get out of consumer MEMS and consumer touch sensor markets and focus its sensor business on the automotive sensor. Meanwhile Maxim is making moves into wearable equipment, mainly with the provision of power management ICs. Tunc Doluca, CEO of Maxim (San Jose, Calif.) announced the move during a conference call to discuss the company’s financial results for the second quarter of its fiscal 2015 financial year. The company made net loss of $71.7 million on revenues of $566.8 million in the quarter. The loss was due to special items that consisted primarily of $138 million in charges related to impairment of goodwill and other assets related to the MEMS business, $28 million in charges related to restructuring activities, including the closing of a wafer fab in San Jose, and $23 million in charges related to acquisitions. The quarterly sales were down 2 percent from the $580 million revenue recorded in the prior quarter, and a 9 percent decrease year over year. “We are on track to achieve our previously announced cost reduction plans, which will enable us to reduce spending while we focus investment in our growth businesses. We also decided to stop investment in Consumer MEMS and Touch technology,” said Doluca in a statement. The company expected to achieve revenues of between $565 million to $605 million in the next quarter. In the conference call Doluca said: “So even though we’re stopping investment in consumer MEMS, we really are taking those resources and going to apply them to automotive. And that business, we can continue to grow, because the superior performance of our products are valued by their customers.” Doluca said that stopping investment in touch technology however would have some impact on the automotive side of the business. “The investment in bio and environmental sensors are pretty much independent of this, so those go forward, where we can add value in mobile with those types of sensors,” Doluca said. 38 Electronic Engineering Times Europe February 2015 www.electronics-eetimes.com


EETE FEB 2015
To see the actual publication please follow the link above