STMicroelectronics says it is significantly increasing its MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) production capacity to more than 3 million sensors a day.
The production of the MEMS sensors will reach that figure by the end of 2011. According to STMicroelectronics, the move aims to sustain exploding customer demand for high-performance, cost-competitive sensing devices.
The company anticipates that MEMS will be adopted into high-growth markets such as healthcare, industrial and automotive.
In 2006, ST was the first major manufacturer in the world to start producing MEMS devices on 8-inch silicon wafers. Its manufacturing facilities are located in Itlay, France, Malta and the Philippines.
STMicroelectronics says it has developed a number of manufacturing processes which it uses to produce the MEMS sensors.
The THELMA (Thick Epi-Poly Layer for Microactuators and Accelerometers) surface micro-machining process combines variably thick and thin poly-silicon layers for structures and interconnections. This enables the integration of linear and angular mechanical elements in a single chip.
The complementary VENSENS (‘Venice Sensor’) process allows the integration of a cavity into mono-crystalline silicon, producing an ultra-compact pressure sensor with excellent size and performance properties.