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MEMS equipment to reap $500M by 2012

Posted: 23 Jul 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:MEMS? energy harvesting? R&D?

The MEMS sector is forecasted to stay flat for the next year or so but there is room for innovation for inertial MEMS, RF switches, energy harvesting and micromirrors, according to Yole Developpement.

In its latest report, entitled World MEMS Equipment & Materials Market 2009, Yole observed that the MEMS production tool market will be flat in 2009 to 2010. MEMS equipment R&D, however, remains active with players getting ready for a ramp-up in 2011. By 2012, the MEMS equipment market is indeed set to reach $500 million.

Describing trends in MEMS manufacturing, Yole noted that it has long been assumed that the MEMS production rule was "One product, one process, one package" and highlighted that European foundries and R&D institutes now argue that standard process modules are possible for MEMS production.

Silex is leading the way, noted Yole. Inspired by its throughwafer via and WLP platform, Silex reckons that the more a fabs' customer can use identical process blocks, modules or platforms, the better the process control and yield and the lower the costs. CEALeti is another player with its standard processes on 8inch wafers for R&D fabs.

Among other examples of modules are TSV, WL packaging, hermetic bonding or Si membrane.

"3D integration with TSV is now an industrial reality with continuous growth expected," stated Eric Mounier, project manager at Yole. "3D Integration with TSV for MEMS is likely to be the next relay of growth for DRIE market and 3D TSV is pushing the need for quicker etch rate, towards the 100?/min."

Moving to market metrics, Yole said it expects materials for MEMS to be a $470 million market in 2012.

As for wafer sizes, Yole said it observed a transition from 6- to 8-inch wafer size for companies involved in high volume MEMS applications. Thick SOI (0.2 to 60?) is used for sacrificial release, and there is a trend for thicker BOX (>5?) for MEMS devices requiring higher deflection such as micromirrors or some gyros.

- Anne-Francoise Pele
EE Times Europe

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