Microcosm Expands MEMS Partnership Program
CARY, NC. March 13, 2000 - Microcosm Technologies, Inc. (Cary, NC) announced here today that Applied Microengineering, Ltd. (AML) (Oxfordshire, UK), Exponent, Inc. (Natick, MA), and Teledyne Electronic Technologies (Los Angeles, CA) have joined Microcosm's micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) manufacturing partnership program. Each new partner will contribute specific MEMS expertise and capabilities to the program - AML in design and foundry interfaces, Exponent in reliability and failure analysis, and Teledyne in packaging and assembly technology. The complement of capabilities brought by the partners augments Microcosm's position as the leader in end-to-end MEMS development. Under the agreements, Microcosm will create design and prototyping kits that incorporate Microcosm software capabilities with process, reliability, or packaging information from the relevant partner. The relationship will provide customers interested in developing MEMS with a menu of bundled development solutions from a single source, Microcosm. Where customers require a combination of services from multiple partners, Microcosm is available to facilitate and coordinate the activity. The end result - an effective, integrated development effort.
The partnership program is a key element in Microcosm's strategy to spearhead the expansion in MEMS product development by tightly linking design, prototyping, volume production, packaging, and sustaining engineering to reduce MEMS development costs and risks. The goal of the partnerships is to provide a predictable, end-to-end product development solution for MEMS-enabled products and systems while exposing developers to top caliber technologies and services. The addition of AML, Exponent, and Teledyne brings the total number of partners to six. Charter members announced at last June's Design Automation Conference (DAC) are: the Defense Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) of the United Kingdom, Sandia National Laboratories, and Standard MEMS, Inc.
"A rapidly growing number of customers have found that Microcosm's partnership program provides the unique solution they require to cost-effectively transform their designs into high volume production products," relates Jeff Hilbert, Vice President of Professional Services for Microcosm. "We are delighted to welcome AML, Exponent and Teledyne to the program and are confident their participation will provide measurable benefits immediately to the customers we serve, as well as yield expanded capabilities as technology partnering takes root. Looking forward, we anticipate additional high caliber partners joining the program in the coming months."
Complementary Development Activities
According to Rob Santilli, Marketing Director at AML, "We are delighted to team with Microcosm. In view of AML's recent corporate realignment to focus on MEMS design house activities, the use of the best, dedicated MEMS software tools is of paramount importance. We purchased Microcosm's MEMCAD software, which we believe is the best." AML will also co-operate with Microcosm to provide design services to customers. "We are confident this combination of software, design services and our process information integrated into a Microcosm design kit will substantially lower technical risks and reduce product development time scales for our customers, " Santilli declared.
As the number of MEMS-enabled products deployed in volume production continues to increase rapidly, efficient access to reliability and failure analysis services and expertise becomes essential. "We are proud of our reputation for reliability studies and failure analysis in most of the markets where MEMS are critical to new product development - from automotive to telecommunications to biomedical", said Dr. Stuart Brown, Principal and Director of Exponent's Boston office. "This partnership affords an exciting opportunity to build a statistical database that may later support the development of failure analysis models that can be built into Microcosm's simulation environment."
The assembly and packaging of MEMS devices are very challenging technical tasks. "The diversity of requirements, along with the need to handle and package devices without damaging the mechanical structures or altering their properties, has made packaging expensive and limited the number of suppliers," said Al Andry, Teledyne's Senior Vice President and Division Manager of Precision Electronic Devices. "Teledyne brings a wealth of experience in assembling and packaging specialized electronic components, including miniature electromechanical relays, where high performance and reliability are of paramount importance."
Design and Prototyping Kits Support Desktop Development One of the first products resulting from Microcosm's partnership program is a series of engineering design kits that enable access to partners' technology and manufacturing information and capabilities. Engineering kits are currently available for DERA and Standard MEMS and are in process for the new partnerships. Each design kit includes Microcosm's MEMS-optimized Catapult design environment fully integrated with the latest release of the MEMCAD software. One step beyond design kits are Microcosm prototyping kits, which bundle design kits with a guarantee of prototyping or pre-production manufacturing services for a designated number of devices, wafers or tests from the manufacturing partner.
MEMS are highly miniaturized devices that integrate a number of functions including fluidics, optics, mechanics and electronics on a single silicon chip using traditional integrated circuit process technology. MEMS merge sensing, actuating and computing into miniature systems that enable enhanced levels of perception, control and performance. Example applications include: advanced sensor technology, such as that used for airbag deployment for the automotive industry; optical switching devices developed for telecommunications; miniature drug delivery systems implemented by medical device companies; handheld DNA analysis products for biotech companies; and HDTV quality projection displays on a chip developed by component electronics companies.
Teledyne Electronic Technologies designs and manufactures components and subsystems for a host of communications, industrial, medical, and aerospace applications, with a specialization in MEMS applications. Teledyne Electronic Technologies is a Teledyne Technologies (NYSE: TDY) company that is a leading provider of sophisticated electronics and communication products, systems engineering solutions and aerospace engines and components. With 1999 revenues of $803 million, Teledyne Technologies employs approximately 5,800 persons in the United States, the United Kingdom and Mexico. More information about Teledyne and its products and services can be found at http://www.teledyne.com.
About Applied Microengineering, Inc.
Applied Microengineering Ltd. (AML) was founded in 1992, making it one of the first, if not the first company in the world specifically formed to solely address MEMS technology. As a result of over eight years of operation, AML is now one of the most experienced companies in the MEMS industry. AML is a private company based in Oxfordshire, England. Historically the company has designed, developed and manufactured MEMS devices in-house. However, due to the emergence of MEMS industry infrastructure, AML is now focusing on design while outsourcing manufacturing to its foundry partners. More information about AML, and its products and services can be found at http://www.aml.co.uk.
Exponent, Inc., is a multidisciplinary organization of scientists, physicians, engineers and business consultants performing in-depth scientific research and analysis in over 50 technical disciplines. Exponent specializes in failure analysis of all kinds, including in the areas of structural and stress analysis, mechanical engineering, materials engineering and metallurgy, transportation and utilities, manufacturing processes, and risk analysis. Founded in 1967, the Company serves its clients through a network of domestic and international offices. More information about Exponent and its products and services can be found at http://www.exponent.com.
Microcosm Technologies, Inc. is the leading worldwide provider of software, engineering consulting services, and manufacturing partnerships for the development of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and microfluidics enabled products. Microcosm is a privately held company headquartered in Cary, NC. It also has US offices in Cambridge, MA; Colorado Springs, CO; San Mateo, CA; European offices in Amsterdam and Paris; and serves the Asia Pacific regions through a network of regional distributors. More information about Microcosm and its products and services can be found at http://www.memcad.com.