July 17, 2008, Hsinchu: APM announced today that it has reached an alliance agreement with leading global semiconductor foundry UMC (NYSE: UMC, TSE: 2303) for 8-inch MEMS wafer fab capacity. As part of this agreement, UMC and APM will collaborate to support current and future customers for the 8-inch MEMS process. UMC will provide the fab manufacturing, logistic management and any required capacity expansion. APM will bring its MEMS process technologies based on its development and manufacturing expertise dating back to 2001. The joint APM-UMC MEMS team has been working together during the last 18 months for this development. An 8-inch MEMS prototype line has been set up in one of UMC’s fabs and will soon begin process qualification on one product.
W Y Chen, Senior Vice President of UMC, says: “We are pleased to partner with APM for this MEMS alliance. Through this cooperative effort, UMC will be able to offer customers a one-stop solution for CMOS-MEMS integration to accelerate their time to market.”
Dr. Ming-Ru Chen, President of APM, says: “With this alliance, APM is poised to serve our customers with a roadmap to benefit the cost curve from the 8-inch wafer process. 8-inch wafer also offers easy integration to sub-0.35 micron CMOS process, which is not available on 6-inch CMOS processes”
Dr. Kurt Petersen, an industry pioneer and a member of APM’s Technical Advisory Board, says: “The 8-inch migration path is key to the MEMS industry as it brings MEMS into the main stream CMOS lines, which offer many benefits from engineering innovation to cost. This is the tipping point for MEMS products to reach the consumer electronics marketplace at affordable prices”
APM is one of the world’s leading independent MEMS foundry service providers. It is currently running 6-inch MEMS wafer processes in its twenty seven thousand square feet facility at Hsinchu Science Park of Taiwan. APM serves many global customers who are designing state-of-art MEMS sensors and actuators, such as pressure sensors, inertia sensors, microphones, RF relay and optical mirror actuators.
UMC is a world-leading semiconductor foundry that manufactures advanced process ICs for applications spanning every major sector of the semiconductor industry. Founded in 1980 as Taiwan's first semiconductor company, UMC is a foundry technology leader that is currently in volume production for customer products down to 65nm. It has eight 8-inch fabs and two 12-inch fabs in Taiwan, Japan and Singapore.
Kurt Petersen is one of the founders of SiTime. Prior to SiTime, he was co-founder, President, and CTO at Cepheid (NASDAQ: CPHD). Prior to Cepheid, he was a co-founder and VP of Technology at NovaSensor for over 10 years. Kurt was listed by Red Herring Magazine as a Top 10 Innovators of the Year. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a recipient of the 2001 IEEE Simon Ramo medal.
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