High-Vacuum Technology Will Enhance Next-Gen MEMS Gyroscopes

May 21, 2007
Harnessing the getter film technology for high-vacuum maintenance of the SAES Getters Group, STMicroelectronics will build the next generation of MEMS gyroscopes with higher sensitivity and increased stability.

STMicroelectronics and the SAES Getters Group are cooperating on development and production of next-generation MEMS gyroscopes that will deliver higher device sensitivity and stability. The ST gyroscopes will integrate SAES’s PageWafer, an advanced getter thin-film solution for maintaining high vacuums in wafer-level packaged MEMS. The MEMS gyroscopes—devices smaller than the diameter of a human hair—will measure angular speeds and will complement ST’s portfolio of two- and three-axis MEMS accelerometers to offer customers a complete inertial sensor platform. Combining their small size with high sensitivity and low power consumption, the gyros will allow new uses in a wide range of consumer applications. ST expects to begin production of the gyroscopes in the first half of 2008.

PageWafer ensures long-term stability to a vacuum or an inert gas atmosphere in wafer-to-wafer, hermetically bonded MEMS devices. It consists of a wafer with a patterned getter film a few microns thick that is placed onto specific cavities, defined in shape and depth according to customer requirements. By acting as the cap wafer of the MEMS package, PageWafer maximizes absorption of all active gases (like H2O, O2, CO, CO2, N2 and H2), thus increasing device reliability and lifetime. In addition to supplying PageWafer technology, SAES Getters will support STMicroelectronics by consulting on the hermetic package design and characterization, as far as vacuum requirement definition. It will also provide outgassing and residual gas-analysis service. For more information, go to www.stm.com and www.saesgetters.com .


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