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EETE JAN 2014 Primary Logo The Newest Products for Your Newest Designs® More New Products More New Technologies More Added Every Day Authorised distributor of semiconductors and electronic components for design engineers. Stefan Finkbeiner, CEO of Bosch Sensortec. years,” said Finkbeiner, by which time, of course, Robert Bosch may have invested in manufacturing again. Finkbeiner qualified his position saying: “It could happen if there was a special product that needed a special process,” he said. Given the commanding position of Bosch Sensortec and STMicroelectronics NV as joint market leaders in MEMS is there scope for the companies to become involved in the “Airbus of chips” initiative that is being promoted as vital to Europe’s interests by Neelie Kroess, vice president of the European Commission and Commissioner for the Digital Agenda? “I would not expect so. It appears to be focused on 450-mm diameter wafers, which is not a Bosch issue, and on digital CMOS which is not a central activity.” With Bosch manufacturing on 200-mm diameter wafers a move into 300mm manufacturing would be next on the MEMS agenda. Will it be coming any time soon either at Bosch or elsewhere? Finkbeiner indicates it’s not imminent at Bosch. “On 8-inch wafers you can get 20,000 to 30,000 MEMS die per wafer. It only takes a few wafers to get to millions of die.” Finkbeiner Electronic Engineering Times Europe January 2014 13 NewestProd_UK_93x277.indd 1 10/14/13 9:23 AM said that although demand is going up MEMS makers are finding ways to reduce the size of die. But eventually with the automotive and consumer MEMS markets growing and moves into the Internet of Things (IoT) additional manufacturing capacity will be needed; either from the IDMs such as Bosch and ST or established digital CMOS foundries such as TSMC or Globalfoundries. Indeed one possibility being mooted is that Abu Dhabi switch an earlier plan to build a CMOS wafer fab there to MEMS manufacturing. Finkbeiner does not dismiss it but is sceptical. “To set up the MEMS, ASIC and packaging requires a lot of money and a lot of learning. Unlike CMOS, MEMS is not one process and lot of products. The process often needs to be adapted. It makes it difficult. To build a new fab and get the money back would take a long time.” So how does Finkbeiner see demand for 2014. “It’s frightening. We more than doubled manufacturing capacity from 2012 to 2013 and we will likely need to install more capacity in 2014.”

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