3 May 2002 -- The Microsystems team of QinetiQ, Malvern, UK, has been chosen to lead a microsystems technology (MST) manufacturing consortium called INTEGRAM (Integrated Microsystems) as part of the European Commission's Europractice programme. Qinetiq was spun off in July 2001 from the UK government's Defence Evaluation and Research Agency.
The €1.3m three-year contract is designed to help small companies and universities gain access to MST and reduce the risks for larger companies by prototyping MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) devices - including components for optical communications (microswitches, filters and micromirrors) - covering consultancy, design, simulation, fabrication, test and packaging through to production. It will link QinetiQ's MST development and prototyping team with software design via consortium partners Coventor Sarl France and Coventor BV Netherlands.
To realise the full potential of new functions and improved performance, MEMS devices must be inter-linked with drive, control and signal processing circuitry, says QinetiQ. INTEGRAM will therefore focus on processes that can be integrated with microelectronics on the same substrate. QinetiQ has already developed CMOS-compatible post-processing modules that can be added to standard 150mm-diameter deep sub-micron silicon wafers, enabling use of volume-production CMOS foundry partners. (European Semiconductor Manufacturing of Newport, Wales had been included as a consortium partner but withdrew after acquisition by International Rectifier in mid-March.)
A library of MEMS IP will be developed and made available to designers for incorporation in CMOS designs. In addition, packaging subcontractors will be evaluated.