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Tronics manufactures the first piezoresistive nanowire 6DOF inertial MEMS

GRENOBLE, France, DALLAS, Texas, USA– Feb 24. 2014 – One year after announcing the industrialization of CEA-Leti’s M&NEMS technologies, Tronics has successfully designed and manufactured the first batch of 6DOF MEMS chips, with 3 accelerometers and 3 gyroscopes on a single die. With a die size of less than 4mm2, this 6DOF MEMS chip is one of the smallest in the industry, and further optimization will make it the smallest.

Besides its size advantage, the piezoresistive nanowire based technology significantly decreases power consumption and allows manufacture of all sensor types (accelerometers, gyroscopes, magnetometers, pressure sensor and microphone) using a common process flow.

Tronics used its know-how in DRIE, wafer bonding and Wafer Level Packaging to design a manufacturable process flow that combines traditional inertial MEMS blocks and sub-micron processing technology. With the delivery of these chips, the main technical challenges linked to the manufacturing of the nanowires have been successfully addressed.

The initial performance results are very promising. The sensitivity, power consumption, and noise characteristics are in line with the design models. This first functional batch is an important milestone towards high volume production. The industrialization work will continue through 2014, with the first commercial samples available in Q4 2014. An ASIC is also being designed and will be available in 2014 to complete the sensor platform.
In addition to the 6DOF device, Tronics has also designed a very compact 9DOF monolithic MEMS. Samples will be available by the end of this year.

Tronics will manufacture medium and large volumes in its European (Grenoble, France) and US (Dallas, Texas) wafer fabs, and will partner with external foundries for manufacturing at very high consumer volumes.

The ideal applications for this new generation of inertial devices are those where size and/or power are key: wearable devices, smartphones and tablets.

Pascal Langlois, CEO of Tronics Group said: “This is a major step in the execution of our strategy to offer innovative technologies for Consumer Products with the intent to give IDMs and OEMs access to state of the art inertial solutions in terms of process technology, size, power consumption and performance. Tronics is delighted to have already partnered with a leading customer and we are very pleased to dramatically reduce time to market and enable superior end product performance.”

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