Tronics has recently launched a new large-scale MEMS project to industrialize CEA-Leti’s breakthrough M&NEMS, or Micro and Nano Electro-Mechanical Systems, technology. This technology is based on piezoresistive nanowires rather than pure capacitive detection, which will advance device performance and chip size. This project sets the stage for a new generation of combo sensors for motion sensing applications.
Within two years, the team will develop 6 DOF, 9 DOF and higher DOF devices, where all sensing elements are using the same M&NEMS technology. The goal is to achieve both significant surface reduction and performance improvement of the multi-DOF sensors. Beyond the smaller die size and the ultra-low power consumption, M&NEMS technology allows manufacturing of all the sensor’s axes with one unique technology platform. This high level of integration and commonality simplifies the associated control and readout electronic circuits, both in terms of design and operational efficiency.
In addition to investments by Tronics and its partners, a substantial portion of the project’s cost is supported by a 6.5 million euros grant provided by the French Ministry of Industry within its Nanoelectronique Industrial Support program.
To generate the volumes required by consumer applications, Tronics plans to support the technology all the way to high volume eight inch production maturity.
“This is the most exciting technological endeavor I have been involved in in the last 10 years,” Peter Pfluger, CEO of Tronics, said. “This technology truly has the potential to be disruptive in the motion sensing business.”
Tier one pilot customers and well-established industrial partners are involved in the initiative, to ensure its fit with market needs and its rapid convergence to actual products. Leading ASIC suppliers are also contributing their expertise to design a motion sensor chipset that fully leverages the M&NEMS strengths. Last but not least, data fusion software specialist Movea is providing its expertise to enable advanced motion capture capabilities, such as indoor navigation and dead-reckoning.