STMicroelectronics is developing what it calls a Lab-in-Fab R&D line — an 8 inch production line to further the development of piezoelectric microelectromechanical systems (MEMS).
The facility, which will be built in collaboration with A*Star’s IME, a research institute in Singapore, brings together three makers in piezo MEMS including materials, wafer fab tools and piezo technologies. The goal is to boost innovation and development of new materials, process technologies and, ultimately, new products for the MEMS and sensor industry.
The Lab-in-Fab consists of a cleanroom area on ST’s Ang Mo Kio campus and will host tools and dedicated resources for MEMS R&D and process scientists and engineers. IME’s research will drive piezo MEMS device design, process integration and system integration as well as contribute tools to help with production. The R&D line is forecast to be operational with the first wafers rolled out in the second quarter of 2021, with production aimed for the end of 2022.
ST said the Lab-in-Fab will go from a feasibility study to product develop and eventually volume manufacturing of new piezo MEMS for use in future smart glasses, healthcare equipment, 3D printing, augmented reality headsets and LiDAR systems.