November Industry News — Focus on MEMS
Leading Sports Motion Research Center Adopts Analog Devices' MEMS Sensor Technology to Train Competitive Rowers
Analog Devices, Inc. reports that it is applying its MEMS inertial sensing technology to help a leading Dutch scientific research center reduce the risk of injury and improve the performance of competitive rowers.
Roessingh Research & Development (RRD), a Netherlands research center specializing in ambulatory 3D analysis of human motion, is using the Xsens MVN system to study rowing kinematics and the associated implications for competitive rowing. The Xsens MVN system, developed by Xsens Technologies B.V. of the Netherlands, combines ADI's advanced iMEMS inertial sensing technology with advanced sensor fusion algorithms and biomechanical models to produce accurate 3D movement and kinematic output. In this latest application, MVN is being used to provide coaches with comprehensive, accurate information about the movement, timing, and behavior of individual rowers or assembled rowing teams.
"As a key enabling technology within Xsens' high-quality motion capture solutions, ADI's iMEMS inertial sensing devices are allowing RRD to apply advanced motion tracking technology to competitive rowing in ways previously unexplored," said Chris Baten, Program Manager, RRD.
In the RRD pilot studies, rowers wore the Xsens MVN system while rowing for 20 minutes on the water. The data was rendered via the Rowing Coach Assistant (RCA) a software application built by RRD using Xsens MVN SDK to precisely replicate the real-time 3D movements of the rowers. The highly accurate and detailed rowing cycle data analysis of RCA provided the RRD research team with clear live visualization of coordination issues. Rowing coaches can use this information during training to optimize and correct movements or to reduce the risk of injury to the rowers.
Silex Microsystems Expands Adoption of Via First Technology
Pure-play foundry, Silex Microsystems, has reportedly licensed its Silex Sil-Via platform, a through-silicon via (TSV) packaging technology, to Nanoshift for use in early development of complex MEMS products. The license agreement demonstrates the growing adoption of the Silex Sil-Via technology through industry partnerships, core to Silex's strategy to enable its customers to quickly and cost effectively bringing MEMS devices from initial concept to volume production.
The Silex Sil-Via utilizes the latest TSV packaging technology, which enables smaller form factors, lowers cost and allows customers to add increased functionality to their MEMS devices. With the Silex license, Nanoshift intends to reduce development time, project risk, and allow for a seamless transition to full-scale production in Silex's 6-inch and 8-inch wafer manufacturing facilities. The goal is to achieve faster time-to-market for Nanoshift customers.
"The Silex Sil-Via platform has become the go-to TSV technology in the MEMS industry because it has been proven in many high-volume applications," said Salah Uddin, co-founder of Nanoshift. "By making this complete platform available to our innovative design teams, Nanoshift can deliver a much-needed development solution for customers to accelerate the commercialization of complex MEMS devices."
The challenge with MEMS is the complexity of the technology, which traditionally takes significant design and development time to reach the volume capacity required of consumer applications. Because of this complexity, many customers can experience significant delays in productizing new MEMS devices because finished designs do not easily transition to volume production. The Silex Sil-Via technology platform will allow Nanoshift customers to develop MEMS products from the beginning with an engineered solution that is inherently compatible with proven, full production manufacturing support, ultimately reducing schedule risk and project cost.
STMicroelectronics First to Use TSVs for Smaller and Smarter MEMS Chips
STMicroelectronics, a leading supplier of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) claim they are the world's first manufacturer to implement through silicon vias (TSVs) in high volume MEMS production, replacing traditional wire bonding as the method of interconnect. ST has implemented the technology in its multi-chip MEMS devices, such as smart sensors and multi-axis inertial modules, reportedly enabling a higher level of functional integration and performance in a smaller form factor.
TSVs are short, vertical structures that connect multiple silicon die stacked vertically in a single package for greater space efficiency and higher interconnect density compared with wire bonding or flip chip stacking. Already deployed in volume production, the ST-patented TSV technology helps shrink the MEMS chip size while increasing its robustness and performance.
"There is a great demand for smaller packages in the consumer market. ST's breakthrough implementation of TSV in MEMS devices opens a path to reduced footprints and increased functionality in mobile phones and other gadgets," said Benedetto Vigna, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of ST's Analog, MEMS and Sensor Group. "High-performance 3D-chip integration in our smart sensors and multi-axis inertial modules marks another important milestone in our mission to make MEMS ubiquitous in all facets of life.