Silex Microsystems is the world’s leading pure play MEMS foundry.
MEMS is an acronym for Micro Electro Mechanical Systems, which are complex mechanical and electrical systems built in micro scale on one single chip. There are three main categories of MEMS: sensors, actuators and basic three-dimensional structures. Sensor based MEMS that determine pressure, speed, direction, position, temperature and light, are used in the automotive, life sciences and consumer electronics industries. Actuators work through movement and are found in optical switches, RF switches and micro robots. And typical applications for static three-dimensional MEMS structures are micro-needles and lab-on-chip products.
Since our beginnings in 2000, Silex has been a dedicated manufacturer of customized MEMS products, operating as an independent MEMS foundry. We offer unparalleled processing power in the world’s first dedicated eight-inch pure play MEMS foundry fab.
Mastering process and production technology
Our goal is to be the industry’s most advanced and efficient provider of MEMS foundry services. By leading the way in technology and offering truly cost effective manufacturing, we help customers take the full advantage of MEMS. Our superior knowledge of MEMS processing and our advanced production technology are key to serving our customers and contributing to their successful products.
At Silex, we are dedicated to building solid, long-term partnerships with our customers. This dedication, combined with our unique process technologies, cost effective manufacturing and commitment to quality, explain why customers around the world trust us with their MEMS manufacturing needs. We help a wide range of customers, from startups to large corporations, with manufacturing in the medical, biotech, telecommunications, consumer electronics and automotive industries.
We manufacture products for over 80 international customers, each tailored for a specific customer and application. Central application areas include handheld devices and micro fluidic devices. In addition, several of our customers’ products are MEMS products that sense pressure, speed, direction, position, temperature and light.
We offer proprietary manufacturing processes that add significant value to MEMS applications. Our through wafer via processes, Sil-Via® and Met-Via™, enable MEMS designs with significantly reduced die size as well as true “Wafer Level Packaging” features. The through wafer via technology facilitates integration of advanced interconnect functions in optical products, in sensors and in micro fluidic devices. This innovative technology can also be used to integrate analog and digital signal processes. By inserting entire chains of vias, it is possible to electrically isolate complete coupling effects and crosstalk between electrical signals.
Most of the steps in the MEMS manufacturing process are the same as those in the semiconductor industry. However, the production complexity of MEMS is considerably greater since they contain three-dimensional mechanical structures.
One of the keys to our success is our support to our customers in developing production-ready products. For instance, we include modeling and cooperative process feedback in the transfer project to make sure that every customer’s process is sufficiently robust to ensure production readiness. To achieve our goal to become the premier manufacturer of customized MEMS solutions to high tech industry, we provide differentiated service solutions to shorten ramp-up time, achieve high quality and lower manufacturing costs.
In contrast to the semiconductor industry, MEMS foundries need to manage a much wider range of processes. Although MEMS production may never reach the same high degree of standardization of CMOS ICs, Silex recognizes the urgent need for standardization within MEMS and has developed a technology for production rationalization. The new technology has vastly improved productivity and the capability to produce increasingly sophisticated products. A product process designed from a combination of standard process modules rather than from a set of customized processes will undeniably reduce set-up time and lessen development costs. The technique of using standardized modules not only creates a more efficient customer production process (minimizing settings and tool changes), but also enables the design of an elevated standardized production support.
We call them Standard Process Platforms. The Standard Process Platform has the benefit of being used in a multitude of products independent of product design or manufacturing methods. In addition to offering further robustness and production readiness to the customer’s design, the Standard Process Platform also provides a solid foundation for further innovation of the MEMS foundry offer.
Silex’s MEMS production is housed in a 25,000 square foot plant near Stockholm with a 29,000 square feet / 2,700 square meter clean room area holding the 8-inch / 200-mm wafer fab. To satisfy our customers’ ever-increasing production requirements, we continue to invest in capacity for high-volume MEMS manufacturing.