Wearables get their own MEMS: Page 3 of 3

June 17, 2015 // By R. Colin Johnson, EE Times
Ultra-low power followed by ultra-small size are the two most important aspects of microelectromechanical system (MEMS) sensors used in wearables. MEMS manufacturer mCube Inc., (San Jose, California) discovered this in its research and has set out to meet that not-so-tiny goal.
Funding of $37 million in its last Series C round was provided by Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers (Menlo Park, California), DAG Ventures (Palo Alto, California) iD Ventures America Inc. (Palo Alto, California), Keytone Ventures (Beijing), Korea Investment Partners (Seoul), MediaTek Inc. (Hsinchu, Taiwan) and SK Telecom Ventures (Seoul).

The mCube process first fabricates a complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) application specific circuit (ASIC) on the bottom, then grows the mechanical MEMS material atop the CMOS, then (top) etches high-aspect-ratio bars perforated by three micron vias for the accelerometer. (Source: mCube)

The mCube die (left) only uses six wire bonds from the chip to the pad of the package, but competitors use from 20 (right) to 21 (middle) thus increasing RF-interference, which degrades signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) as well as make the chip less reliable when wire bonds come loose after dropping a device.(Source: mCube)

R. Colin Johnson is Advanced Technology Editor at EE Times

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