Coventor, the leading supplier of design technology for micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) and the nanoelectronics research center imec (imec.be), today announced a strategic partnership to improve and expand the use of advanced design and manufacturing techniques for the development of CMOS integrated MEMS. The partnership includes strategic alignment on R&D roadmaps and collaboration on advanced research topics. Teams of imec and Coventor will collaborate on expanding imec’s use of Coventor’s software tools suite for MEMS + IC design. They will jointly develop process design kits (PDKs) for imec’s SiGe MEMS-above-IC process.
Building on both organizations’ success with MEMS design and manufacturing, the partnership aims at developing solutions to make MEMS more accessible to both MEMS and IC designers. Process design kits (PDKs) will be developed to improve the efficiency of this MEMS-IC co-design. The kits will target imec’s SiGe MEMS technology that uses a MEMS-last approach, where the MEMS are processed after and on top of the CMOS circuits, enabling a monolithic integration of MEMS devices with the driving and readout electronics on the same die. The SiGe MEMS platform’s flexible and modular approach also allows application-specific tuning and optimization of MEMS layer thicknesses and properties, and the processing of optional functional layers on top of the MEMS devices.
The partnership will leverage Coventor’s background in developing the necessary infrastructure for MEMS design environments. Coventor’s design tools have been production proven on hundreds of MEMS designs over the past 15 years. Recently, Coventor introduced a new product line, MEMS+®, aimed at integrating MEMS design with mainstream IC design environments. And imec has an innovative SiGe MEMS process that allows monolithic integration on top of standard CMOS.
“More and more product developers from a wide range of industries look to integrate MEMS because of their powerful capabilities. Imec is well-positioned to address this market through its CMORE initiative which seeks to expand the scaling of CMOS micro- and nano-devices by adding functions other than logic and memory to chips, ” said Rudi Cartuyvels, Vice President Process Technology at imec. “By partnering with Coventor, we gain access to years of production experience and technology for MEMS design, and a breadth of expertise in developing a larger ecosystem for MEMS developers.”
“Coventor’s strategy revolves around the ‘democratization’ of MEMS, which is about eliminating the obstacles and challenges in the way of more widespread adoption of these devices. By applying the talent and resources of one of the world’s most prestigious semiconductor research institutes, our partnership with imec will help do that. Together we can develop more efficient and practical approaches to MEMS development that meet the demanding requirements of markets and applications that have yet to leverage the vast potential of MEMS, ” said Mike Jamiolkowski, CEO of Coventor.
Imec (imec.be) performs world-leading research in nanoelectronics. Imec leverages its scientific knowledge with the innovative power of its global partnerships in ICT, healthcare and energy. Imec delivers industry-relevant technology solutions. In a unique high-tech environment, its international top talent is committed to providing the building blocks for a better life in a sustainable society. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has offices in Belgium, the Netherlands, Taiwan, US, China and Japan. Its staff of more than 1,750 people includes over 550 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2009, imec’s revenue (P&L) was 275 million euro.
Imec is a registered trademark for the activities of IMEC International (a legal entity set up under Belgian law as a “stichting van openbaar nut”), imec Belgium (IMEC vzw supported by the Flemish Government), imec the Netherlands (Stichting IMEC Nederland, part of Holst Centre which is supported by the Dutch Government), imec Taiwan (IMEC Taiwan Co.) and imec China (IMEC Microelectronics (Shangai) Co. Ltd).
Coventor, Inc. (coventor.com) is the market leader in automated design solutions for micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS). Its software tool suite and expertise in MEMS address the challenges of optimizing performance and integrating MEMS devices into a growing number of products – from smart phones to video games to home entertainment systems. With Coventor, MEMS designers can optimize the mechanical performance of the device and pass parameterized models, including non-linear and mechanical effects, directly to their counterparts doing IC and System design in Cadence Virtuoso™ and Matlab Simulink™. Using this novel approach, MEMS teams can now bring best in class design ideas together with critical process effects and system considerations upfront in the design process. The company is headquartered in Cary, North Carolina and has offices in San Mateo, Calif., Cambridge, Mass, and Paris.