In the first part of this interview Janusz Bryzek, vice president of MEMS and sensor solutions at Fairchild Semiconductor, looked at the motivation for companies, including Fairchild, to enter the MEMS market and provided insights into why he thinks MEMS sensors shipments will hit a trillion units per year within the next ten years.
An additional factor that is likely to help MEMS sensor growth is increasing maturity in manufacturing. "For many years the MEMS industry struggled with one device, one process, one package, one test system. Then Analog Devices followed by STMicroelectronics started moving towards process platforms that could build multiple products. Now InvenSense is a fabless MEMS company that is opening its standard processes to others and has had several multiproject wafer runs," said Bryzek.
Janusz Bryzek, vice president of MEMS and sensor solutions at Fairchild Semiconductor.
With foundries such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. and Globalfoundries Inc. entering into MEMS manufacturing there is the potential for the fabless-foundry business model to develop along similar lines to those followed in conventional ICs, albeit with multiple manufacturing platforms, rather than a single dominant CMOS offering.
However at the same time Bryzek thinks that novel materials and manufacturing methods will also be significant in the future of MEMS. "This could involve 3D-printing of semiconductor sensors and packages. It may be possible to print VLSI sensor arrays, batteries and energy scavangers using roll-to-roll manufacturing."
There is no doubt a trillion sensors per year would be enough volume to persuade companies to build dedicated facilities rather than just repurpose older 200-mm wafer fabs.
Bryzek estimates that one trillion sensors in silicon would require 130 million 200mm diameter ASIC wafers and 260 million 200mm MEMS wafer. If they were constructed using 3D printing methods using a 12mm by 25mm strip one trillion sensors would require 300 million square meters of substrates.
Bryzek's long-term view shows how the MEMS market is growing faster