Globalpress Summit: MEMS apes gecko

Simulating a Gecko’s ability to stick to surfaces is one of the technologies developed by the pure-play MEMS foundry Innovative Micro Technology (IMT).

The technology will be used in pick and place machines among other applications, said Craig Trautman, vp business development at Innovative Micro Technology of Santa Barbara, California, at the Globalpress Summit Conference in Santa Cruz today.

“We’re not just an ordinary foundry,” said Trautman. With the University of Santa Barbara it has teamed up to develop cell therapy technology – using particle measurement with a Q factor > 10,000 to detect bacteria like e-coli or cancer cells which can then be used to devise customised treatments.

IMT has developed many other technologies like micro-fluidics, a micropump active medical dressings and others but does not use them to make any products of its own. It is, however, prepared to licence its technology.

As the largest pure-play MEMS foundry in America, the company prides itself on having some of the best MEMS processes in the industry.

It claims to have made more MEMS switches, at 62m, than the rest of the world’s MEMS manufacturers combined.

It says it has made the world’s most precise MEMS putting 1m holes on a chip with a pitch of 22nm; it says it has made the world’s fastest MEMS with a device going from 0 to 1.4 metres/sec to 0 in 15 microseconds; it says it has made the world’s most sensitive MEMS – an attogram mass sensor with a Q factor of > 10,000; it says it has made the world’s most precise navigation device with inertial-grade gyros (<1º/hr drift) sensors for compasses; and it claims to have made the world’s most complex MEMS with 4 and 5 wafer bonded stack, on-board reflective and refractive optics, 3D microfluidics, magnetically-driven actuators and a range of materials.

IMT is doing both 2.5D IC packaging using interposers to connect the die, and 3D IC packaging using through hole vias (TSVs) on stacked die. “TSVs are becoming a big deal – we’ve supported them for quite a while,” said Trautman.

IMT works with its customers to formulate the best approach to making a MEMS and will define a spec from a customer’s product description.

The company is 11 years-old, is still private and makes its MEMS on six inch wafers in Santa Barbara.

Tags: VTI

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