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STMicroelectronics Inaugurates MEMS Production in Italy

Photonics.com
Nov 2006
Semiconductor supplier STMicroelectronics announced today it inaugurated a new 200-mm (8-in.) semiconductor wafer fabrication line dedicated to microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) at its manufacturing site in Agrate, near Milan, Italy. ST said it is the first major MEMS manufacturer to produce devices using 200-mm wafers and it has invested about $40 million in transforming its former 150-mm (6-in.) production area into the MEMS line, which will manufacture parts for accelerometers, gyroscopes, miniature microphones and pressure sensors. The MEMS area employs more than 100 people and occupies 1300 square meters at the site. MEMS technology allows the electrical and mechanical properties of silicon to be simultaneously exploited and is being rapidly adopted in a wide range of computer, consumer, automotive and industrial applications. The inauguration event featured a roundtable discussion of Italy's role in high-tech industries by Italian academics, writers and industrialists; an overview of MEMS markets and opportunities presented by Benedetto Vigna, general manager of ST's MEMS business unit; and a customer application example inside laptop computers, presented by Hisao Tsukazawa, group manager of Toshiba's PC Development Center.



GLOSSARY
gyroscope
See fiber optic gyroscope; ring-laser gyroscope; micro-optic gyroscope.
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
sensor
1. A generic term for detector. 2. A complete optical/mechanical/electronic system that contains some form of radiation detector.
wafer
A cross-sectional slice cut from an ingot of either single-crystal, fused, polycrystalline or amorphous material that has refined surfaces either lapped or polished. Wafers are used either as substrates for electronic device manufacturing or as optics. Typically, they are made of silicon, quartz, gallium arsenide or indium phosphide.
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