SAN JOSE, CA /Marketwire/ -- Micrel Inc., an industry leader in analog, high-bandwidth communications, and Ethernet IC solutions, announced that it has begun MEMS manufacturing at its San Jose, CA–based wafer and foundry operations. The company has started production with a major MEMS manufacturer, representing a significant percentage of the existing foundry capacity and is developing MEMS production processes for several other startups. Micrel is one of the few 6 in. fabs in the U.S. offering MEMS manufacturing capability.
In preparation for the ramp-up, Micrel committed several million dollars in capital, initiated 3D front-to-back alignment capability, and acquired a new state-of-the-art DRIE etch machine. The system precisely etches very deep trenches, through silicon vias, and the very large cavities required for today's advanced MEMS products.
"We are very excited to be able to provide MEMS services in our foundry," noted Guy Gandenberger, Vice President, Worldwide Operations and Foundry business unit for Micrel. "We have already successfully achieved the milestone of full production for our primary MEMS customer. In addition, we have set aside additional capacity for other MEMS customers, with the capability for expansion when required."
MEMS are mechanical devices built onto semiconductor chips that use equipment found in a semiconductor factory. Highly specialized and dedicated devices, they are used to make pressure, temperature, chemical, and vibration sensors; light reflectors; and switches, as well as accelerometers for airbags, vehicle controls, pacemakers, and games. The technology is also used in inkjet print heads, micro actuators for read/write heads, and all-optical switches that reflect light beams.
Micrel's Wafer Fab Division offers foundry services to commercial and military IC designers and all manufacturers seeking a production solution compatible with their specific application and/or technology needs. The Micrel foundry provides a variety of flexible wafer fabrication and processing resources that address unique requirements for short runs or for volume production. The facility has been certified to ISO14001:1996, the International Environmental Management System Standard. This environmental management system strives to ensure regulatory compliance and reduce environmental impact through waste reduction and recycling.
Micrel Inc. is a leading global manufacturer of IC solutions for the worldwide analog, Ethernet, and high-bandwidth markets. The company's products include advanced mixed-signal, analog, and power semiconductors; high-performance communication, clock management, Ethernet switch, and physical layer transceiver ICs. Company customers include leading manufacturers of enterprise, consumer, industrial, mobile, telecommunications, automotive, and computer products. Corporation headquarters and state-of-the-art wafer fabrication facilities are located in San Jose, CA, with regional sales and support offices and advanced technology design centers situated throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia. In addition, the company maintains an extensive network of distributors and reps worldwide.