InvenSense opens up process to enable fabless MEMS

June 04, 2012 // By Peter Clarke
InvenSense Inc., (Sunnyvale, California), a supplier of motion tracking components based on MEMS technology, has announced that it is opening up the use of its proprietary MEMS manufacturing process for use by others on a licensing basis.

InvenSense recently announced that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd., and Globalfoundries Inc., are now dual-source suppliers of its own CMOS-MEMS components. InvenSense is now offering third party developers the option to include designs on the NF-Shuttle.

This allows emerging MEMS developers to focus on innovation in design rather than spending time working on specialized fabrication development and process transfer to a foundry.

The InvenSense NF-Shuttle is a silicon CMOS-MEMS platform where mask costs are split amongst multiple users on the same mask set. This approach reduces production costs and provides an opportunity to verify prototypes in silicon. The initial shuttle test run took place in January and was offered to participants from University of California Berkeley, U.C Davis, Stanford University and other institutions. InvenSense's second shuttle was scheduled for May 30, with an increased number of selected participants.

InvenSense is offering space on the third shuttle, slated to begin processing on Dec. 5, 2012.

"At InvenSense, we are committed to seeing the proliferation of MEMS products on our proprietary fabrication platform not only in inertial sensors but also in resonators, microphones, switches, pressure sensors, RF tuners, etcetera," said Steve Nasiri founder and CEO of InvenSense, in a statement. "We have found there are many companies and universities that have brilliant ideas yet they need to spend as much as 60 to 80 percent of their time and development resources on MEMS-related fabrication due to lack of any viable off-the-shelf processes. With our platform it is now possible to bring innovative MEMS products to market much faster and at significantly lower costs," he added.