BAW firm buys New York MEMS wafer fab

April 11, 2017 // By Peter Clarke
Bulk acoustic wave (BAW) component maker Akoustis Technologies Inc. (Charlotte, North Carolina) has agreed to acquire a fab for processing 150mm-diameter wafers at Albany, New York, for $2.75 million.

As part of the deal Akoustis has been offered up to $8 million in performance-based incentives under the Excelsior Jobs Program by Empire State Development. Akoustis plans to create 214 additional jobs in Canandaigua, New York, in addition to retaining the 31 existing employees currently working in the facility. Akoustis plans to invest up to $20 million in the project over the next 5 years.

The wafer fab, known as STC-MEMS, will allow Akoustis to bring its manufacturing in-house and shorten time-to-market for its high-band RF filters which are aimed at mobile phone and other wireless markets.

The fab has been operated by the Research Foundation for the State University of New York (RF-SUNY) and Fuller Road Management Corp. (FRMC). The acquisition includes a 120,000 sqaure foot building, 150mm wafer manufacturing tools, 57-acres of grounds and a MEMS business with $3 million of annual revenue.

As part of the agreement Akoustis is expected to receive Trusted Foundry accreditation. It also inherits two tenants with multi-year leases.

"Since there is significant overlap between the tools and processes used to produce our BAW devices and silicon-based MEMS, transferring our process into the STC-MEMS foundry will accelerate the technology into production," said Art Geiss, co-chairman of Akoustis, in a statement. "In addition, we believe that some of the foundry processes used in silicon-based MEMS manufacturing may be utilized in new ways to make further performance improvements in Akoustis’ single-crystal BAW RF filters."

Akoustis plans to maintain the existing customer engagements which are transferred as part of the transaction and expects the deal to close in 2Q17.

Related links and articles:

www.akoustis.com

www.rfsuny.org

News articles:

MEMS wafer fab contents for sale: $5 million ONO

Qualtre appoints vice presidents for expansion

Philips plans to double size of MEMS foundry

SMIC selected as foundation for Chinese MEMS industry