Looking to boost its microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) foundry services, United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) has forged an alliance with dedicated MEMS foundry Asia Pacific Microsystems Inc. (APM) to collaborate on enhanced MEMS manufacturing services.
Under the deal, UMC will utilize its eight-inch and 12-inch production capabilities with APM’s six-inch fab and MEMS manufacturing experience to offer flexible and scalable end-to-end MEMS manufacturing. UMC already has a stable of MEMS customers for microphones, accelerometers and environmental sensor applications, and this partnership will expand its reach into more MEMS addressable markets for the Internet of Things (IoT) sector, including system companies, module providers and designers of new MEMS chips, UMC says.
The IoT is driving rapid growth for MEMS sensors and actuators focused on using mechanical, electrical and optical microstructures within microchips to create a non-electrical interaction or response, UMC says. MEMS are tough to implement and develop as well as time consuming. The collaboration aims to shorten the initial MEMS development cycle while providing scalable production capacity for use in the automotive, consumer electronics, data communication and biomedical markets.
UMC says using its eight-inch manufacturing capabilities will allow for volume production of MEMS products that are cost effective, while its advanced 12-inch CMOS fab processor will be able to introduce MEMS features within an ASIC design.