February 1, 2011 -- Coventor, design technology supplier for micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), and the nanoelectronics research center imec formed a strategic partnership to improve and expand the use of advanced design and manufacturing techniques for the development of CMOS-integrated MEMS. The partnership includes strategic alignment on R&D roadmaps and collaboration on advanced research topics. Teams of imec and Coventor will collaborate on expanding imec's use of Coventor's software tools suite for MEMS + IC design. They will jointly develop process design kits (PDKs) for imec's SiGe MEMS-above-IC process.
Building on both organizations' success with MEMS design and manufacturing, the partnership aims to make MEMS more accessible to MEMS and IC designers. PDKs will be developed to improve the efficiency of MEMS-IC co-design. The kits will target imec's SiGe MEMS technology that uses a MEMS-last approach, where the MEMS are processed after and on top of the CMOS circuits, enabling a monolithic integration of MEMS devices with the driving and readout electronics on the same die. The SiGe MEMS platform's flexible and modular approach also allows application-specific tuning and optimization of MEMS layer thicknesses and properties, and the processing of optional functional layers on top of the MEMS devices.
The partnership will leverage Coventor's background in developing the necessary infrastructure for MEMS design environments. Coventor's design tools have been production proven on hundreds of MEMS designs over the past 15 years. Recently, Coventor introduced a new product line, MEMS+, aimed at integrating MEMS design with mainstream IC design environments.
"Product developers from a wide range of industries look to integrate MEMS because of their powerful capabilities. Imec is well-positioned to address this market through its CMORE initiative, which seeks to expand the scaling of CMOS micro- and nano-devices by adding functions other than logic and memory to chips," said Rudi Cartuyvels, VP process technology at imec. Also read: Two different approaches to integrated MEMS by Dick James, Chipworks
"Coventor's strategy revolves around the 'democratization' of MEMS, which is about eliminating the obstacles and challenges in the way of more widespread adoption of these devices. [With imec,] we can develop more efficient and practical approaches to MEMS development that meet the demanding requirements of markets and applications that have yet to leverage the vast potential of MEMS,” said Mike Jamiolkowski, CEO of Coventor.
Imec performs world-leading research in nanoelectronics. Further information on imec can be found at www.imec.be.
Coventor Inc. provides automated design solutions for micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS). More information is available at http://www.coventor.com