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Shanghai opens incubator for More-than-Moore devices

Posted: 20 Oct 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Moore's Law? Mora-than-Moore? hardware accelerator? incubator?

Eloy described SITRI's helping the U.S. companies get to production faster and bringing business to Chinese semiconductor and electronics industry as "dual strategy," which he believes is "a good way to buy-pass the Taiwanese electronic industry."

Eloy added that the other benefit for SITRI and its Chinese partnersboth financial investors and industrial partnersis to get access earlier than the others to the right teams, ideas and companies, so that SITRI can leverage it for its own development.

SITRI's Himes made clear that SITRI's incubator in Belmont isn't just for the benefit of SITRI in Shanghai.

"Our goal is in building a global innovation network," he said. SITRI envisions a network of operations including Silicon Valley, Taiwan and Europe. SITRI is planning to open an office in Europeeither in Grenoble or Munich, said Himes. "It's still in an early stage. We haven't decided yet."

Why MEMS business is tough

Building an ecosystem for MEMS has been particularly difficult, because "processes are not standard in MEMS," said Bouchaud. "Even if foundries claim some 'technology breaks' and some 'platforms' for MEMS, the foundry will have to tune the process for each client when they go into large volume," he explained.

Yole's Eloy agreed. "The diversity of the manufacturing processes," and fragmentations in "devices linked to MEMS, and More than Moore in general," are the crux of the issue, he summed up.

In addition to the technical complexity caused by those developing similar devices but making totally different technical choices, "the volumes in wafers related to the manufacturing of MEMS devices are quite low," Eloy said. This results in small business for the large IC foundries, which raises barriers to entry. "Take the case of TSMC," said Eloy. "Their MEMS sales last year was just above $50 million, a very small activity for the $16 billion company."

During the interview, Petersen made it clear, "our focus is on More than Moore, less on IoT." In addition to today's volume MEMS devices such as accelerometers, gyroscopes and microphones, Petersen anticipates a host of new-generation of high-volume MEMS technologies coming on line. They include antenna tuners, PA filters, LNA filters, chemical sensors, force sensors among others.

Consumer MEMS

(Source: Kurt Petersen)

SITRI believes that it can help not only develop high-volume technologies but also create a path to big-volume foundries.

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