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Dr. Y.H. Tsai, President of Asia Pacific Microsystems, Inc., Received Interview from Yole’s MEMS’ Trends Magazine on MEMS Foundry Services.

APM is a pure-play MEMS wafer foundry founded in 2001. It is one of the leading MEMS wafer foundry service providers with a 27,000 square foot 6-inch MEMS fab comprised of a broad range of MEMS fabrication capabilities. This combination of automotive grade quality, competitive price and high volume capacity makes APM especially attractive to both the automotive and consumer electronics industries. The company is affiliated with the UMC group, the 2nd largest IC foundry in the world.

APM has been in MEMS industry since 2001. It owns a 6” MEMS fab in HsinChu Science Park in Taiwan. In 2007, APM turned into a pure-play MEMS foundry from an IDM company, and has been focusing on the fabrication of MEMS elements since then. Currently, APM’s wafer output has reached an all time high of over 8000 wafers per month. Among them are different kinds of sensors, passive elements, and actuators, which are used in consumer, automotive, industrial, and biomedical applications. APM has flat organization structure, which greatly enhances corporate communication. This helps to shorten the decision making process, and therefore lead to quick response on diversified product demands. Another important fact of APM is its composition of two groups of people -- one is the semiconductor manufacturing group from APM’s acquisition of an IC foundry when company first established; the other is the MEMS developing group which APM has been building since 9 years ago. With CMOS foundry discipline and MEMS technology expertise, APM is very capable of accommodating various MEMS devices in one single fab from development to production.

APM fabricates devices on silicon, glass, SOI, and cavity SOI substrates. With its complete MEMS process modules, multiple platforms are built. APM can consequently achieve fast prototyping or production transferring for various MEMS devices by utilizing its process modules as building blocks. In addition to the “standard” MEMS process, APM comes up with special techniques, such as single side wet etching and special substrate handling, to ease the process complexity and therefore raise the device yield. Post process on CMOS wafers is also one of APM’s fortes. It makes our customers’ integrated MEMS successful.

APM has been focusing on production for MEMS devices since day one. It has applied Taiwan’s semiconductor experience to build up its own MEMS production know-how such as using real time lot tracking system and real time SPC system to maintain precise process control and monitoring. Under its IC fab-like production discipline, APM has accumulated massive production experience, and therefore can assure short cycle time and high quality in both production and development stage. In its almost 10 years of production experience, APM is used to collaborating with customers on design verification and process modification, and this early engagement assists in smooth transition from the prototype to mass production.

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