Motion Engine is developing a sensor system platform and applications based on our proprietary 6 Degrees-of-Freedom (6 DOF) MEMS motion sensor and 3D System (3DS) architecture. The sensor provides industry-leading low mechanical noise which translates into low bias drift and higher sensitivity. The 3DS architecture provides the potential to eliminate bond wires and external packaging which can contribute from 50% to 85% of the final cost of producing the MEMS device. This superior performance, low cost combination is an industry first and will be the key enabler to opening up broad new markets for MEMS inertial sensors. The 3DS architecture can also be used for other types of MEMs devices permitting the required integration increasingly demanded by customers. Low cost integration of various MEMS devices which will serve as the foundation of “system platforms” for various types of products including mobile sensors networks and wearables.
MEI’s proprietary “3DTCV” (Thru-Chip Vias) enabling technology has led to the production of the first true 3D MEMS system chip.
This system approach leads to the MEMS being compatible with any standard CMOS process line as well as other microelectronics fabrication technologies such as GaAs or SiGe and keeps the use of specialty processes and associated equipment at a minimum. It meets the fabrication requirements for a very wide array of MEMS products and applications. The 3DS platform enables wafer scale electronic integration, packaging, and testing.
The production of MEMS inertial sensors for the consumer markets still involves taking a MEMS device and pairing it with an integrated circuit (IC) by using traditional methods that require both MEMS and IC wafer dicing, pick and place, wire bonding and plastic molding costs. This takes up more area on the PCB and also leads to more noise due to the wire bonding (i.e. parasitics). Though there have been design improvements to integrate the MEMS and IC at the wafer scale these “single chip” solutions still require additional dicing, die attach, wire bonding, and plastic molding. MEI’s 3DS architecture enables true wafer-scale integration of MEMS and electronics, eliminating the need for additional die attach, wire bonding, and external packaging.
Higher-grade tactical and navigational MEMS inertial sensors have not been able to take advantage of the cost savings enjoyed by users of corresponding consumer grade MEMS sensors. Existing stand-alone 6 DOF consumer grade sensors, though lower in cost, do not provide low enough noise and drift for navigational applications. Instead, users must still use large, high-cost IMUs (inertial measurement units) that consist of multiple higher-grade single-axis sensors integrated into modules where additional alignment and packaging is required. MEI’s 6DOF sensor and 3DS platform provide a low noise solution that can be integrated at the die level, providing for the first time a low cost, high performance solution for tactical and navigation applications.