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ST begins novel prod'n process for MEMS sensors

Posted: 07 Nov 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:STMicroelectronics? MEMS sensor? micromachining? accelerometer? gyroscope?

STMicroelectronics has revealed that it had begun production of MEMS sensors using its proprietary THELMA60 (60um thick epi-poly layer for micro-gyroscopes and accelerometers) surface-micromachining fabrication process.

Semiconductor manufacturers have depended in the past on two manufacturing processes for the accurate high-volume production of 3D MEMS devices including accelerometers, gyroscopes, microphones and pressure sensors. Surface micromachining has been viewed as more cost-effective whereas bulk micromachining was often chosen for higher sensitivity and precision. The ST innovation combines the advantages of both approaches, opening up the possibility to drive surface-micromachined MEMS into new markets and applications, noted the company.

"The introduction of ST's THELMA60 surface-micromachining process starts a new era for inertial sensors. As already proven by a number of design wins that are now entering production, THELMA60 is the ideal solution to increase cost efficiency for challenging applications that demand high sensitivity like implantable medical devices and high-end sensors for aerospace systems and seismic exploration, once the exclusive domain of bulk micromachining," said Benedetto Vigna, EVP and GM analogue, MEMS and sensors group, ST. "After we have revolutionised the market for consumer inertial sensors, we are now set to change the game for high-end sensor applications. This is just the start."

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