SAN JOSE, Calif. – InvenSense Inc. (Sunnyvale, California), a supplier of motion tracking components based on MEMS technology, has announced that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. and Globalfoundries Inc. are now dual source suppliers of its CMOS-MEMS capacity.
TSMC (Hsinchu, Taiwan) has more than doubled its CMOS-MEMS capacity for InvenSense in the past year and has been its primary volume supplier to date. Globalfoundries Inc. has now completed the installation of InvenSense's process technology in a 200-mm CMOS production line and is qualified for volume shipments, Invensense said.
Having dual sources will provide InvenSense and customers with security of supply. InvenSense is the most successful fabless MEMS company to date and has a manufacturing process, the Nasiri-Fabrication Platform, that allows the integration of MEMS wafers with standard CMOS wafers using a wafer-to-wafer bonding process.
The fabless MEMS model offers many advantages over the more traditional Integrated Device Manufacturing (IDM) approach used by almost all other MEMS inertial sensor makers, said InvenSense. In particular fabless MEMS companies can make use of excess available capacity at 200-mm wafer fabs, the company said.
"InvenSense is thankful to TSMC for their continued support to bring up the Nasiri-Fabrication platform on their high-volume production lines, along with Globalfoundries for their commitment and timely qualification of our process in their production lines," said Steve Nasiri, founder and CEO of InvenSense, in a statement.
"Many of today's MEMS companies have been stuck with their old ways in making MEMS for the past 25 to 30 years and missed the opportunities to bring truly game-changing fabrications and product innovations to the MEMS industry and to their customers. We believe that the InvenSense fabrication platform is a game changing technology that is expected to transform the way the MEMS industry will bring innovations and new products to the market into the future."
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I hope there are more successes in the fabless MEMS companies. Of the total MEMS revenues in 2011 (~$11B), the IDM's share is close to 70% but I expect this to shrink when the fabless model takes hold.
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