Ziptronix unveils low-cost wafer-scale packaging technology that brings MEMS devices into mainstream processing

August 27, 2002

2 Min Read

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. -- Ziptronix, delivering advanced bonding technology to the semiconductor industry, today unveiled a room temperature, foundry-based, wafer-scale method of hermetically encapsulating surface sensitive devices (MEMS and RF devices), using industry-standard tooling, materials, and process chemicals. This process creates a variety of flexible, low-cost packaging options and enables the first true integration of MEMS and integrated circuit (IC) technologies, without the complex packaging, testing, and assembly that can account for up to 80% of the cost of MEMS devices. "Because of their surface sensitive nature, MEMS require special assembly and packaging, creating significant cost disadvantages versus traditional ICs," said Doug Milner, CEO of Ziptronix. "Ziptronix is the first company in the electronics industry to offer a process that is MEMS compatible and eliminates this special handling. Now semiconductor foundries, MEMS manufacturers, and IDMs can cost-effectively assemble, package, and test the devices in-house. This paves the way for volume commercialization of MEMS, and for streamlining their integration with electronic systems." Ziptronix' innovative, foundry-based process requires no special equipment and is supported in standard fab ambient conditions. Ziptronix leverages industry-standard equipment, materials, and process chemicals. The process operates at room temperature to produce covalent bonding between conventional semiconductor materials or other materials used in MEMS packaging. Epoxies or other adhesives are not required to create the bond, and surface activation is fully compatible with the normal fab environment. Bonding activation is typically dual-sided, but can be confined to a single side. This is sometimes desirable with surface-sensitive MEMS devices, as it helps to avoid conflicting with proprietary headspace (cavity) chemistries needed for optimum performance. The technique's two-step sequence readily accommodates the fab cycle of queuing and production. Surface activation (Step 1) can precede bonding (Step 2) by several hours without deterioration of the activated surfaces. Then, when active surfaces are bonded, the process occurs on contact without applied pressure or an electric field, facilitating high production throughput. The result is low-cost, wafer-scale, hermetic encapsulation of MEMS and SAW filters that eliminates costly special handling and complex encapsulation of individual devices. Ziptronix Inc.

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