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News & Press: MEMS & Sensors Industry Group News

Joint Task Force Explores IC and MEMS Manufacturing Challenges

Wednesday, April 27, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: MEMS & Sensors Industry Group
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By Laura Nguyen, International Standards, SEMI

For the past year, SEMI, working jointly with the MEMS & Sensors Industry Group (MSIG), has facilitated a joint task force that has been exploring industry challenges that span both semiconductor and MEMS/sensors manufacturing.  Standards have been identified as one approach to some of the technical gaps. While the processes used to manufacture MEMS as well as Integrated Circuits (ICs) are similar, there are also unique gaps where standardization can help provide solutions that the MEMS industry can develop and adopt. The joint SEMI-MSIG Task Force has focused on two areas for new Standards efforts, and two SNARFs (Standards New Activity Request Form) were submitted and approved by the members of the North America MEMS/NEMS Technical Committee Chapter at the SEMI Standards Spring Meetings 2016 held April 4-7.

The Material Characterization task force approved the SNARF for a New Standard: Specification for a Test Pattern for Deep Reactive Ion Etching (DRIE) Process Characterization. This standard will describe a family of test patterns useful for characterizing the etch performance of a specific tool/test chamber. In addition, since the use of test masks alone will not be able to provide guidance on the tilt requirement of devices such as Gyros – one of the main drivers for DRIE in recent years – the task force will consider including test pattern elements that can be evaluated using electrical test methods. MEMS foundries can implement this test pattern, allowing them to incorporate the results into their design guidelines, eliminating the need for customers to use their design as a test pattern for the DRIE process. In the absence of a standard test method for evaluating this pattern, this document will also include a “Related Information” section to discuss metrology for this test pattern.

The MEMS Substrate task force, a recent task force that was approved at the Spring Meetings, have also approved a new SNARF for another activity ─ a New Standard: Specification for Silicon Substrates used in fabrication of MEMS Devices. No standards exist specifically for the substrates used to produce MEMS devices and while substrates used in MEMS fabrication share similarities with those used for IC production, they differ in important elements. This reliance on custom substrates means that the ordering process is more involved and time consuming, and in addition, with significant delay in obtaining the appropriate custom substrates. This increases time to market as well as inventory and supply costs for both the MEMS producer and buyer. The intent of this specification is to simplify the ordering process by (a) identifying the key parameters needed to order MEMS substrates, and (b) specifying and naming default parameter sets which will be useful for the majority of MEMS fabrication/processing.

To learn more about the Joint SEMI and MEMS & Sensors Industry Group, a workshop is being held at SEMICON West on July 13 at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis. Visit www.semiconwest.org/node/2791 for more information. Registration for the SEMICON West 2016 Expo is complimentary until May 6. After May 6, rates will apply, so please visit www.semiconwest.org/.

These recent activities have just begun so be sure to check out our Standards website at www.semi.org/en/standards. To learn more and become a SEMI Standards member today, visit: www.semi.org/en/standards/P041367.

The next SEMI Standards meetings will be held in conjunction with SEMICON West 2016. To register at our next meeting, please visit: www.semi.org/en/node/79531.

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