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MEMS: Leti reports a world first!

​Leti, a CEA Tech institute, recently produced MEMS-type accelerometers on 300-mm wafers. This world-first will lay the groundwork for advances that will lower the cost of these microsystems—for which demand is expected to mushroom as the Internet of Things takes hold.

Published on 10 November 2015

The Internet of Things is driving growth on the MEMS market.[1] This comes as no surprise when you consider that MEMS are crucial to capturing information from the real world and transforming it into data that can be shared online. Companies seeking to carve out a position on the IoT market will have to overcome a number of challenges—not least of which are chip energy consumption and production costs.  

Researchers at Leti leveraged FDSOI technology to reduce chip energy consumption by 40% and demonstrated, for the first time ever, that M&NEMS-type accelerometers, a type of MEMS that incorporates nano-objects, can be manufactured on 300-mm wafers. This advance will open up a host of new possibilities for manufacturers in the IoT industry. The researchers completed virtually all of the hundred or so steps in the fabrication process at Leti’s 300-mm platform, and tests on the first wafer produced very encouraging results.

The successful scale-up of MEMS fabrication to the 300-mm line has anchored Leti as a leader in the field and will pave the way for future cost reductions, a key factor in penetrating the high-volume consumer electronics and IoT markets.

[1] Global sales of MEMS used directly in industrial IoT equipment, estimated at  $16 million in 2013, are expected to rise to $120 million in 2018. (Source: IHS Technology).


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