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ST, SAES team on multi-axis MEMS gyroscopes

Posted: 18 May 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:MEMS gyroscopes? MEMS accelerometers? sensor platforms?

The SAES Getters Group and STMicroelectronics (ST) have signed a cooperation agreement that will support development and production of next-generation MEMS gyroscopes.

According to the agreement, ST's gyroscopes will integrate SAES' PageWafer, an advanced getter thin-film solution for high vacuum maintenance in wafer-level packaged MEMS, to deliver higher device sensitivity and stability.

The new gyroscopes will complement ST's portfolio of two- and three-axis MEMS accelerometers to offer customers a complete inertial sensor platform. Combining small size, high sensitivity and low power consumption, ST's MEMS gyroscopes will enable new uses for a wide range of consumer applications such as mobile phones, portable devices, MP3/MP4 players, PDAs, gaming and navigation devices. ST expects to ramp to industrial volume production in the first half of 2008.

The gyroscope market is growing fast in a number of application segments. In addition to automotive electronic stability systems and GPS receivers, industry analysts predict MEMS gyroscopes will take off in the consumer segment, including motion-user interfaces in portable communication devices and image stabilizers in camcorders and digital cameras. Analysts expect the total available market for MEMS gyroscopes to triple in the next five years, from $400 million in 2006 to more than $1.2 billion in 2012.

In addition to supplying PageWafer technology, SAES will support ST with technological consulting for the hermetic package design and characterization, as far as vacuum requirement definition, and it will also provide outgassing and residual gas-analysis service.

"The market for MEMS motion sensors in consumer electronics is one of our most challenging targets and the integration of PageWafer technology into STMicroelectronics' advanced MEMS gyroscopes surely represents an important qualification of our getter film products for use in these MEMS applications, in addition to the demanding applications in the automotive industry that we already serve," commented Marco Moraja, Getters for MEMS business development manager at SAES.

"The integration of SAES' expertise in getter film technology into ST's industry-leading MEMS technology will ensure that ST's customers get the finest quality in MEMS gyroscopes, an area that offers a significant opportunity for ST to further expand its fast growing MEMS business," said Benedetto Vigna, general manager of ST's MEMS product division.

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