Teledyne DALSA's MIDIS platform allowed NXTSENS to develop low-noise, single and triaxial accelerometers, and a very low-noise resonant gyroscope with industry-leading performance and a drastically shortened development time
BROMONT, Canada – August 4, 2015 – MEMS sensors and timing devices developed by emerging Montreal company, NXTSENS Microsystems are setting industry-leading performance records because of a unique semiconductor manufacturing platform developed by Teledyne DALSA Semiconductor Inc.
Launched in 2013, MIDIS™ (MEMS Integrated Design for Inertial Sensors) is a microfabrication platform offering high-volume and low-cost manufacturing of accelerometers and gyroscopes for integration into motion sensors, a crucial component of a broad spectrum of today’s consumer electronics.
NXTSENS Microsystems sees game-changing potential in the MIDIS platform, says Vamsy Chodavarapu, Vice President-Research at NXTSENS. “By taking advantage of the MIDIS platform, we have created one of the world’s best MEMS absolute pressure sensors,” he says. “Our absolute capacitive pressure sensor has the most accurate and stable vacuum reference and can be optimized to various industrial applications by simply fine-tuning the sensing membrane.” NXTSENS Microsystems is using this pressure sensor technology to target applications in health and environmental monitoring including implants, prosthetics, wearable technologies and water quality monitoring.
Another key value-add of the platform is its packaging capability, which vastly improves the quality factor in vibrating MEMS devices, Dr. Chodavarapu says. “Teledyne DALSA Semiconductor is the only pure-play MEMS foundry in the world capable of ultra-clean wafer-level vacuum encapsulation packaging.” NXTSENS capitalized on this ultra-clean vacuum packaging capability to develop silicon MEMS resonators with extremely high quality factor, reaching 3.24 million at a resonance frequency of 6.89 MHz.
“With the MIDIS process, leading semiconductor companies in the world are trying to catch us, and not the other way around,” Dr. Chodavarapu says. “Because the process is already optimized, it has drastically shortened our development time, helping NXTSENS to develop low-noise, single and triaxial accelerometers, and a very low-noise resonant gyroscope with industry-leading performance.”
Dr. Chodavarapu, who is also Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at McGill University and a prolific inventor, was one of a small group of Canadian academics recruited by CMC Microsystems in 2013 to “test drive” the newly launched MIDIS process. Working in partnership with TDSI, CMC Microsystems offers multi-project wafer runs that enable academic researchers and industry to cost-effectively develop prototypes, with potential for rapid scale-up to volume production.
Today, Dr. Chodavarapu’s spinoff company is commercializing all four of its MIDIS-enabled technologies, which are protected by five pending United States patents.
“We’re delighted with the success of the MIDIS platform, and we’re pleased to have played a role in helping NXTSENS achieve these excellent results,” says Luc Ouellet, Vice-President, Research and Development at Teledyne DALSA. “It’s rewarding to see that our innovative foundry capabilities are creating opportunities to help this company succeed."
About NXTSENS Microsystems
NXTSENS Microsystems is a leading fabless semiconductor company that provides tailored sensing, timing and frequency reference solutions. NXTSENS leverages a portfolio of patented high performance, low noise, low power technologies and lean supply chain to serve a wide range of niche markets with customized solutions. From prototype to full-scale production, NXTSENS provides an efficient path to commercial applications. http://www.nxtsens.com/
About CMC Microsystems
As manager of Canada’s National Design Network, CMC Microsystems works with researchers and industry, providing commercial-calibre tools, systems, expertise, services, and access to world-class infrastructure for designing, prototyping and manufacturing innovations in microsystems and nanotechnologies. CMC provides a path to commercialization of related technologies, and enables the development and sharing of new tools, methodologies and processes to make researchers and industry more productive. www.cmc.ca
About Teledyne DALSA Semiconductor
Located in Bromont, Quebec, Canada, Teledyne DALSA's award winning semiconductor wafer foundry has a proud history of innovation in specialties such as MEMS, CCDs, and high voltage CMOS. As a pure-play foundry, our goal is to deliver innovative foundry capabilities as a manufacturing partner to fabless and fab-lite semiconductor companies to help them succeed with their advanced MEMS or IC designs. For more information, visit www.teledynedalsa.com/semi.
Tel: +1 (519) 886 6001 ext. 2187