LONDON QinetiQ is to work with TRONIC'S Microsystems to speed the development of innovative micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) products. The strategic agreement will provide customers with enhanced transition from prototype to volume production and improves the MEMS supply chain in Europe.
Products designed by QinetiQ, with TRONIC'S manufacturing standards designed in from the start, should provide improved chance of success as a result of the partnership.
The technology teams at both companies will now be working together to ensure process and design tool compatibility, including full process statistics. This working collaboration represents an extended team of more than 120 people offering concept feasibility, product design and simulation, right through to industrialisation and fully integrated volume manufacture of high value-added components.
TRONIC'S has recently opened a custom MEMS manufacturing plant at Crolles, in South East France. QinetiQ's extensive portfolio of inertial sensors and optical components designs based on silicon on insulator (SOI) substrates represents more than 10 years of leading edge research into MEMS devices and materials.
This base of designs and process development is now set for rapid commercial exploitation and QinetiQ's designs will also benefit from TRONIC'S high-end packaging solutions such as wafer level encapsulation and under vacuum packaging.
Mike Day, business manager for MEMS at QinetiQ, said, “QinetiQ's evolution from a research and development company that operates in the MEMS market, to one that can supply products, has been given a real boost by the signing of this agreement. We decided to enter into partnership with TRONIC'S as they are world leaders, capable of delivering a full component fabrication, assembly and packaging service for our cutting edge SOI designs.”
Peter Pfluger, CEO of TRONIC'S Microsystems, stated: “This modern, open-minded innovative business model can be a real breakthrough for custom MEMS on SOI designs.”
QinetiQ's prototyping and low volume manufacturing facility, with its sophisticated metrology and process optimisation, together with TRONIC'S implementation of statistical quality and process control ramping up to volume production, makes this a significant agreement for the MEMS industry in Europe.