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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.
The Internet of Things is driving growth on
the MEMS market. 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.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.