In a world first, US-listed global semiconductor and Micro-Electromechanical Systems (MEMS) technology leader ST Microelectronics has announced a collaboration with A*Star’s IME research institute and leading Japanese manufacturing-tool vendor ULVAC to jointly establish an 8-inch (200 mm) R&D line focused on Piezo MEMS technology within ST’s existing manufacturing facility in Singapore. 

Piezo-based components are widely used to build actuators or sensors out of bulk piezo materials. Innovations in process technologies have allowed the MEMS industry to design and manufacture wafer-level products using thin piezo films. The development of such technology promises to drive the miniaturisation of actuators while driving performance improvements and cost reduction at the same time.  

The new initiative will synergise the three partners’ state-of-the-art and complementary competencies in Piezo materials, Piezo-MEMS technologies, and wafer-fab tools. The partnership is intended to boost innovation, as well as accelerate the development of new materials,  process technologies and ultimately new products for industry customers. Benedetto Vigna, President, Analog, MEMS and Sensors Group at STMicroelectronics, sees this collaboration as crucial in scaling up piezo-MEMs production and improving yields on a shorter timescale. 

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