MOEMS Consortium Chooses Foundry
Anne Fischer Lent
The MOEMS manufacturing consortium recently announced that it has chosen Corning IntelliSense Corp. of Wilmington, Mass., to manufacture micro-optoelectromechanical systems (MOEMS). The consortium is led by Xerox Corp.'s Wilson Center for Research & Technology in Rochester, N.Y.
Although it measures only 2 s 1.5 cm, up to 24 functions can be fit on an eight-channel chip. Besides saving space, the chip can decrease costs by using semiconductor batch fabrication techniques for its manufacture.
Developing better, faster and cheaper laser-based products is the incentive behind increased MOEMS development at Xerox, according to Joel Kubby, manager of the Microsystems Group. He stated that there's no clear benefit to low-volume production of the devices. The company wants to move away from the high-cost precision manufacturing components used in its huge, room-size printers and photocopiers to MOEMS, which could reduce the size and cost of its machines while also enhancing image The consortium was formed in 1998 as part of a $14 million, five-year program of the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Advanced Technology Program. The goal was to develop a low-cost process for increasing the manufacture and commercialization of MOEMS for use in telecommunications, imaging, medicine, entertainment and information systems. Xerox enlisted Standard MEMs of Hauppauge, N.Y., as the foundry of choice, but the company west out of business in 2002.
The new selection, Corning IntelliSense, has a 50,000-square-foot foundry for design, wafer processing and packaging of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). Because no standard processes are in place for MEMS or MOEMS development, the challenge, said Andy Swiecki, vice president of marketing and sales, is in developing and tailoring processes to meet specific needs.
Also supporting the project are Cornell Nanofabrication Facility, Rochester Institute of Technology's Semiconductor & Microsystems Fabrication Laboratory and Eastman Kodak Co. The group has also partnered with schools in upstate New York and in New York City, where university photonics centers will serve as pilot production facilities for MOEMS development.
Initially, the consortium is focusing on developing a broadly enabling process for fabricating MOEMS, which will be followed by processing and application development.
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