GRENOBLE – Nearly three years have passed since Tronic’s Microsystems, French contract manufacturer of custom MEMS (micro-electromechanical systems) components, hit the news wire with the grand opening of its manufacturing site near Grenoble. The company is now coming back to the front stage with a series of announcements, including a 1.7 million euro round of funding and an extension of its capabilities for design, frontend/backend manufacturing and electronic interfacing for MEMS components.
Established in May 1997 as a spin-off of the CEA-Léti (Laboratoire d’Electronique et de Technologie de l’Information), Tronic’s Microsystems delivers custom products ranging from individual MEMS dies to complete packaged microsystems integrating a MEMS component together with an electronic signal processing and control devices. The company now addresses applications such as sensors, actuators, RF MEMS, and 3D microstructures for high-end markets such as medical, telecommunications, and avionics/defence.
A milestone in the start-up’s move towards independence was the setting-up of its own fab in Crolles in October 2003 with an initial capacity of 10,000 wafers per year. Taking advantage of favourable market conditions at that time, Tronic’s concluded a major round of financing of 10.5 million euros, including 2 million euros for clean rooms and 4.5 million euros for equipments.
Breaking three years of relative silence, Tronic’s is announcing the recent upgrade of its facility from four-inch to six-inch wafer technology together with the setting-up of new dedicated characterization and test equipment. Among other achievements are the integrations of new competencies in electronic interfacing of MEMS transducers and the broadening of its back-end offer with high vacuum wafer-level packaging solutions for high performance products like inertial sensors.
“Since the beginning of the year, we have been offering new competencies in electronic interface design as well as greater component testing. With these new services, we will be able to address new customers”, explained Vincent Gaff, Tronic’s marketing manager, to EETimes.fr.
Tronic’s rise in capacity and capability extensions were partially supported by a fourth round of financing of 1.7 million euros led by CDC Enterprises Innovation, Sercel, Crédit Agricole Private Equity, Schneider Electric Ventures, CEA Valorisation and IXCore, its existing investors.
Commenting on this fourth successive round, Gaff first underlined that Tronic’s has raised a total of 15 million euros in capital since its creation and declared: “Modest in appearance, the fourth round of funding of 1.7 million euros was the necessary push for the company to bring its projects to maturity, the transition to six-inch having been essentially financed internally.”