Freescale Semiconductor has established an advanced microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) 200-mm (8-inch) production line to address growing sensors market demand. The newly added line at Freescale’s Oak Hill Fab in Austin, Texas, complements the company’s existing 150-mm (6-inch) MEMS capacity in Sendai, Japan. High-volume MEMS manufacturing expertise remains critical as the MEMS sensor market continues to grow. Freescale has produced MEMS-based sensors for more than 25 years and is a leading high-volume sensor provider with an extensive portfolio of acceleration, pressure and proximity sensors. The company offers advanced embedded control capabilities with an extensive product portfolio that enables comprehensive sensing, control, connectivity and analog solutions.
“As customers continue to demand low-cost, robust and highly functional sensors in smaller form factors, Freescale’s additional 200-mm MEMS manufacturing line will certainly help to satisfy the upsurge of application opportunities in the price-sensitive automotive, industrial, medical and consumer markets,” said Demetre Kondylis, vice president and general manager of Freescale’s Sensor and Actuator Solutions Division. “As a high-volume sensor manufacturer, Freescale is committed to being a dependable source of top-quality sensor products.”
MEMS technology is revolutionizing the semiconductor industry by exploiting both the unique electrical and outstanding mechanical properties of silicon. First proliferating in airbags, engine management and blood pressure monitoring, MEMS-based sensors now have spread to cellular, gaming, medical, appliance, computation, stability control, tire pressure monitoring systems and numerous other applications. The enormous variety of applications demonstrates that MEMS-based sensors are a versatile interface to the physical world, and are helping to make electronics products safer and more energy efficient and enabling innovative new services.
“Consumer applications have really started to push the MEMS business in areas such as pressure sensors and accelerometers,” said Jean-Christophe Eloy of Yole Developpement, a world leader in MEMS market analysis. “The global MEMS industry reached almost $6 billion (USD) in 2006 and is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 14 percent. By 2010, we’re predicting the MEMS market will be $9.7B. One of the most significant consequences is that the top semiconductor companies are now looking at MEMS applications as great growth areas.”
The advanced 200-mm capacity will allow Freescale to explore and integrate new MEMS capabilities and address major competitive challenges, such as power consumption, cost effectiveness and form factors. First developed in the 1970s, MEMS-based sensors remain at an early stage of product cycles. Freescale continues to design and manufacture more sophisticated and highly integrated piezoresistive and capacitive sensors. MEMS technology enables signal conditioning, connectivity, embedded control and innovations in firmware and software.
About Freescale Semiconductor
Freescale Semiconductor is a global leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the automotive, consumer, industrial, networking and wireless markets. The privately held company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing or sales operations in more than 30 countries. Freescale is one of the world’s largest semiconductor companies with 2006 sales of $6.4 billion (USD).
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