3/18/2004 - MEMSCAP (Euronext: MEN), the leading provider of innovative solutions based on MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) technology, announces this month the 60th run start of PolyMUMPsTM, part of the popular MEMS standard prototyping service also known as MUMPs (Multi User MEMS Processes).
Fabricated out of the Research Triangle Park, North Carolina facility for over eleven years, the MUMPs prototyping service has been operated by listed company MEMSCAP since November 2002. Originally developed as part of a DARPA-supported MEMS infrastructure program, MUMPs has quickly thrived as the standard MEMS process for thick metal, SOI or polysilicon surface micromachining . This sixtieth run start is an important milestone in the life of MUMPs that has delivered over hundreds of thousands of devices to diverse user groups ranging from the academic, commercial and government sectors worldwide. Results from these devices have provided detailed proof-of-concept data for use in graduate theses, published conference papers and most importantly advanced commercial product development.
"CMC has been providing university researchers with access to MUMPs technology for over five years through its National Design Network. During this time, over 80 researchers at 10 universities have benefited from access to MUMPs technology, and fabricated 135 MEMS designs. The research conducted has a variety of applications, the primary of which is healthcare. The MUMPs process has helped to enable innovative university research and discovery, particularly in the design of complex MEMS structures. The MEMSCAP tool has helped to create a blueprint for other organizations in the industry to transform their processes into a multi-project wafer environment. This environment is critical to help make MEMS prototyping affordable to industry and university researchers", states Peter Stokes, Senior Manager, Engineering Operations at CMC (Canadian Microelectronics Corporation).
The success of the original MUMPs process (now called PolyMUMPs) drove MEMSCAP’s decision to expand its offering by rolling out two additional processes in 2002: SOIMUMPs (double-sided etch on bonded SOI-Silicon wafers) and MetalMUMPs (20 micron thick nickel electroplating). This expansion has addressed a critical bottleneck in the MEMS industry, namely the lack of accessible and affordable standard processes, necessary to the further development of commercial applications. MEMSCAP now has the most diverse standard process portfolio in the industry available for its customers.
The unique features of MUMPs characterised by an easy and cost-effective access to multiple processes enable side-by-side individual designs on the same mask set from multiple customers for fabrication on regularly-scheduled standard process runs. To participate in MUMPs, customers purchase die sites and submit their own designs by the published design deadline, while adhering to the published design rules. For each 1cm x 1cm die site reserved, customers receive 15 chips after fabrication at MEMSCAP.
Plans for 2004 include the renewal of the MUMPs User Group (MUG) meetings and the release of a Technical “Frequently Asked Questions” guide. The MUG meeting schedule kicked off in January at the University of California Berkeley Sensor and Actuator Center, and the 2nd MUG meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 24, 2004 at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Colombia. Participation will be open to all current, former, and future MUMPs users.
The Technical FAQ guide project actually encompasses two documents, one containing questions-and-answers regarding MUMPs, compiled from queries over the past few years, and the other containing a “how-to” guide from the perspective of Microsoft’s research team. This “how-to” guide discusses Microsoft’s experience with designing certain PolyMUMPs structures and the results of techniques used.
“MEMSCAP commitment to its clients is seen through MUMPs, which stands as one of its most meaningful successes,” explains Busbee Hardy, Manager of the MUMPs program at MEMSCAP, “2003 was an important year for us with the roll out of SOIMUMPs and MetalMUMPs to the MEMS community and the delivery the first sets of chips manufactured with these processes. By bringing back the MUG meetings in 2004, we shall provide an educational showcase for users of the program as well as continue the ever stronger dialogue with our customers.”
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software -- any time, any place and on any device. Microsoft, Outlook, MSN, Hotmail, Windows Server and Windows Server System are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
MEMSCAP is the leading provider of innovative micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS)-based solutions. MEMSCAP solutions include components, component designs (IP), design software, manufacturing and related services. MEMSCAP customers include Fortune 500 businesses, major research institutes and universities. The company's shares are traded on Euronext (FR0004155455-MEN), where MEMSCAP belongs to the Next Economy segment, to the SBF250 and ITCAC50 indexes. More information on the company's products and services can be obtained at http://www.memscap.com.
To download the technical FAQ, go to www.memscap.com. To download the “how-to” guide, go to http://research.microsoft.com/users/sinclair/
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