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automation technology. I would design the required mechanical parts in AutoCAD, print my drawing and then hand it over to the skilled team in the machine shop for turning, milling and drilling. Quite commonly did I end up in a discussion on the manufacturing feasibility of some aspects of my design but a couple of iterations later the drawing was good to go and a few days later I would have a mechanical part on my desk. This more traditional interaction of mechanical engineer and machine shop is really what I see MEMS moving towards in this new wave of adoption that we see coming. A key challenge to MEMS manufacturing is the need for an expensive manufacturing line. I would say 100M USD investment is a starting point for something useful and maybe more challenging is to develop the team of skilled engineers who are capable of working out a manufacturing process on said toolset. Silex MEMS foundry business model brings a solution to this problem as we offer access to what we could perhaps describe as a “shared high tech machine shop” to our 60 active customers worldwide. Sharing a high tech contract manufacturer in a highly innovative environment brings additional challenges in terms of protection of individual customer IP. The global MEMS foundry offer is still quite confusing today where you find everything from MEMS product companies offering spare capacity as MEMS foundry service, to mixed model foundries offering turn-key services including product design and product platforms, all the way to Silex Pure Play model with a strict focus to fully protect customer innovation and IP. Silex true Pure Play MEMS foundry model means that we do not have any of our own products or product design IP. We support the development of customised processes

from concept to volume manufacturing, but require all design input to be provided from our customers. That said, Silex dedication to the true Pure Play model and protection of customer IP does not imply staying shy of advanced technology development, but the Pure Play model does place the scope of technology development to generic technology nodes that must at all times stay clear of competing in the actual application space of the foundry customer.

Examples of such generic technology nodes are technologies pertaining to the packaging and interconnect space such as TSVs (Sil-Via and Met-Via), Interposers, IPDs, Wafer Level Packaging and Wafer Level Integration of MEMS and CMOS. Other areas where Silex is offering leading production solutions to its foundry customers are in the processing capability of novel materials such as AlN, PZT, thick polymers, magnetic materials and a wide range of alloys and noble materials.

Silex business model attracts the innovation leaders looking to create novel, ground breaking micro scale solutions. We have the most solid track record of protecting our customers’ IP and technology while achieving the greatest results in quickly taking customers’ unique product designs to volume manufacturing. This track record combined with an unparalleled leadership when it comes to generic technology modules in the TSV interconnect and wafer level packaging space, puts us in a good shape to serve also this next wave of MEMS foundry demand. Sonorus 1G Sonor rus 1G: Ultrasound ra

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EXCEEDING THE LIMITS OF MICRO-MOLDING 41 | commercial micro manufacturing international Vol 7 No.3

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