Monday, January 23, 2012

Silex joins ENIAC joint undertaking project EPAMO

JARFALLA, SWEDEN: Silex Microsystems, the world's largest pure-play MEMS foundry, has joined an international European Union-funded program aimed at developing a new technology platform with the goal of developing advanced RF solutions for 4G base stations and mobile handsets.

The program, "Energy-efficient Piezo-MEMS Tunable RF Front-End Antenna Systems for Mobile Devices," or EPAMO, is developing new technologies to realize future high performance RF-systems, energy efficient mobile communication systems, highly miniaturized and integrated RF components, and cost efficient solutions to the mobile phone industry.

Silex's contributions in this effort include high performance metal through-silicon vias for RF applications, PZT piezoelectric thin film technologies for actuator manufacture, and advanced integrated passive devices utilizing through-wafer processing and advanced materials development.

"Silex, as a part of EPAMO, will leverage its expertise in 3D through-wafer processing to develop new MEMS capabilities," says Dr Thorbjorn Ebefors, chief technologist at Silex. "These new techniques will be used to fabricate high-density integrated inductors, resistors and capacitors for new classes of devices. As the only pure-play foundry involved in EPAMO, Silex is the best positioned foundry to offer these capabilities out to future customers."

EPAMO will develop new advanced wafer materials and RF component designs, combining new thin film materials and thin film technologies with CMOS (Complementary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor) solutions and advanced 3D packaging technologies. Silex's contributions include piezo-MEMS wafer processing using PZT materials, advanced RF through-silicon vias, and through-wafer integrated passive devices.

EPAMO is coordinated by Dr. Thomas Metzger of EPCOS AG of Germany. EPCOS is the world leader in RF filters and global number two on module solutions for the RF front-end of mobile phones. EPCOS Netherlands N.V. hosts the development and business development of several RF system solutions like antenna tuners, tunable power amplifiers and smart RF front-ends for EPCOS.

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