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X-Fab buys stake in MEMS Foundry Itzehoe

Posted: 07 Feb 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:MEMS production? inertial sensors? micro-mirrors? RF MEMS?

X-Fab has purchased a 25.5 percent stake in MEMS Foundry Itzehoe (MFI). The acquisition will enable the analog/mixed signal foundry to fortify its technology foundation in key areas of MEMS production.

The companies plan to combine their foundry activities in the MEMS market. Having recently expanded its 8-inch MEMS production line, X-Fab intends to add valuable expertise in specific applications. "We do not so much aim at further production capacities but more at their manufacturing technology," explained X-Fab marketing vice president Thomas Hartung.

To date, MFI has modest capacities of less than 30,000 wafer starts per year in 8-inch technology, but it has significant manufacturing experience for specific types of MEMS such as inertial sensors, micro-mirrors and RF MEMS as well as in wafer-level packaging. It also has expertise in the production of through silicon VIAsan important technology for combining MEMS and CMOS circuits on one wafer. On the other hand, MFI can well use X-Fab's CMOS know-how. The company is a spin-off of the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicon Technology (ISIT).

X-Fab has seen strong demand for MEMS over the past year and plans to increase its sales volume in this segment to more than $50 million in the next five yearsfrom $12 million in 2010. X-Fab intends to increase its holdings in MFI over time and eventually become the majority shareholder, said Hartung.

Christoph Hammerschmidt
??EE Times

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