X-FAB Silicon Foundries today announced it will expand its foundry service to include 8-inch (200 mm) MEMS wafer processing. Moving to the larger wafer diameter and monolithic MEMS/CMOS integration allows significant reductions in manufacturing costs. X-FAB believes its expansion to 8-inch MEMS production places it squarely among the leading MEMS foundries and will significantly benefit customers developing applications for the automotive and consumer markets.

The company already is working with lead customers developing MEMS devices on 200 mm wafers in combination with 0.35um CMOS technology. X-FAB will discuss the 8-inch MEMS Center for the first time in public in Booth #820 at the Sensors Expo & Conference, Rosemont, IL., June 8-9, 2010, and in Booth #1408 at the Design Automation Conference (DAC 2010), Anaheim, Calif., June 13-18, 2010.

  X-FAB accelerated its MEMS program with 200 mm wafer MEMS manufacturing capability to address explosive growth in MEMS - a need driven by emerging high-volume applications for the consumer market. For example, MEMS accelerometers, gyroscopes, pressure sensors and microphones now are prevalent in consumer products ranging from mobile phones and portable devices to white goods.

X-FAB will install 8-inch MEMS process equipment in three phases in its dedicated MEMS clean room in Erfurt, Germany, to increase its manufacturing efficiency and introduce new process capabilities.

•Phase 1 adds equipment for bulk-silicon etching capable of highly controlled membrane formation such as that required for pressure sensors, IR sensors and other bulk silicon structures. This phase will be implemented throughout 2010.

•Phase 2 adds to X-FAB’s silicon etching capability other main processes required for MEMS manufacturing, such as photolithography, thin film deposition and etching.

•Phase 3 also implements new processes that expand X-FAB’s technology capability with noble metals or other materials not found in CMOS fabs, to provide manufacturing capability for the ever-increasing range of MEMS devices.