LONDON – Fabless startup MicroGen Systems Inc. has announced that it has chosen X-Fab Semiconductor Foundries AG to mass produce MEMS-based energy harvesters for the company.
MicroGen (Ithaca, New York), founded in 2007, has developed a range of piezoelectric vibrational energy harvesting devices. The Bolt range of narrowband frequency microgenerators, tuned for particular vibration frequencies, measure about one square centimeter in size and use moving cantilever beams fashioned in silicon using a MEMS process. Aluminum nitride piezoelectric material layers overlaid in the beam generate up to 200 microwatts of power. The company is also working on broadband energy harvesters and multi-axis devices.
A transfer of the specific manufacturing process is underway from MicroGen to X-Fab (Erfurt, Germany) and volume production is scheduled to begin in the first half of 2013.
"MicroGen has selected an established company with the technical capabilities, processes and capacity to meet our requirements. We are pleased to have chosen such a well-qualified and experienced partner after a very exhaustive selection process," said Robert Andosca, CEO and cofounder of MicroGen, in a statement.
Rudi De Winter, CEO of X-Fab (Erfurt, Germany) said: "MicroGen has a leading-edge device based on innovative technology that aligns well with our capabilities."
The MENS market is getting exciting. There are a lot of players. X-Fab gets a new business which is good for their stakeholders. The big question is if MEMS is still a profitable business. I guess it is being commoditized.