By Christine Young
Designing connected devices comes with the added challenges of small form factor and long battery life requirements. SoCs integrating the processor, radio, and sensors provide an answer, as does MEMS technology, which miniaturizes sensing and energy harvesting. But since both are fabricated on separate processes and die, this presents a multi-die SiP integration challenge.
By Christine Young
Why the MEMS sensors market today consists largely of packaged components and what that means for designers in the smartphone/tablet, automotive, medical and other sectors.
Do you have a strong background in MEMS sensors and actuators with experience in design and simulation? Do you enjoy using simulation software and analytical methods to predict physical behavior? We are seeking a Corporate Engineer to verify, validate and improve our suite of MEMS design automation software. In this position, you will work closely with our development team, creating and exercising test cases that verify the accuracy of our simulation software. You will also collaborate with our field applications engineers to provide backup support for customer-supplied test cases and create realistic application examples.
- Understand the uses and functionality of our MEMS design automation software.
- Develop verification test cases for automated and manual test suites.
- Document verification tests for internal and external readers.
- Submit defect reports and enhancement requests.
- Collaborate with software developers to isolate defects.
- Participate in planning and status meetings with the software development team in accordance with Agile methodology
- Create realistic design examples and associated documentation in the form of articles, presentations, white papers and web content.
- MS or PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, or a related field with focus on MEMS design, simulation and fabrication.
- Solid understanding of engineering mechanics and fundamentals of dynamics.
- Experience with finite element analysis (FEA) using commercial software such as Coventor MEMS+, CoventorWare, ANSYS, COMSOL, or ABAQUS.
- Proficiency with the Windows and/or Linux operating systems.
- Team orientation with excellent interpersonal skills.
- Excellent English communication skills, both verbal and written.
- Scripting skills in MATLAB, Python or similar scripting language.
- Experience with MATLAB/Simulink and/or Cadence Virtuoso and Spectre.
- Professional experience in MEMS design and analysis.
- Work experience in software quality assurance (SQA).
- Knowledge of Microsoft Office.
Salary and job title will be commensurate with education and experience. This regular, full-time position is located at our Paris development center in Villebon Sur Yvette, France. You must be a current legal resident of the EU or have a valid EU visa to apply for this position. Please email your cover letter and CV in English to firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Bryon Moyer
October 22, 2015 at 1:43 PM
Coventor recently announced the latest release of MEMS+, their MEMS EDA/CAD tool, and the timing was tough because it came just after I had an article involving process design kits (PDKs). And amongst the things that the latest MEMS+ release brings is movement towards MEMS PDKs (MPDKs).
MEMS devices are, of course, notorious for evading any attempts to rope in process and design options through standardization of any kind. Efforts continue, but it remains a challenge.
This means that any MEMS design involves a collaboration between a particular fab (captive or foundry) and the design folks to come up with a physical design that meets the requirements for a particular new sensor or actuator. And what’s done for some new design may have nothing to do with what has been done in the past. Materials may change, dimensions and shapes may change, and circuits and packages may change. Everything’s negotiable.
We announced the release of the latest version of our MEMS+ design platform this week, MEMS+ 6.0. This release contains many new features and performance improvements that existing customers will appreciate as well as new capabilities that address key challenges of integrating MEMS with IoT devices. There’s far too much to talk about in one blog, so we will focus this one on why MEMS are critical to IoT and the key MEMS/IoT integration challenges MEMS+ 6.0 addresses. Subsequent blogs will expand on each of these challenges and our solutions.
First, let’s talk about the IoT, or Internet of Things. Unless you’ve been marooned on a remote island for a few years, you know that the IoT is the tech topic du jour, subject of much hype as well as growing reality. The IoT spans a wide range of technologies, including smart devices that interact with their environment, wireless technologies, internet infrastructure, big data, cloud infrastructure, software infrastructure, and software applications. It is widely acknowledged that low-cost sensors in general and MEMS in particular are a key enabler if not a defining characteristic of IoT. A recent McKinsey report titled The Internet of Things: Mapping the Value Beyond the Hype states: “We define IoT as sensors and actuators connected by networks to computing systems. These systems can monitor or manage the health and actions of connected objects and machines. Connected sensors can also monitor the natural world, people, and animals.” The report goes on to say, under the topic of technology enablers: “Low-cost, low-power sensors are essential, and the price of MEMS (micro-electromechanical systems) sensors, which are used in smartphones, has dropped by 30 to 70 percent in the past five years.” The smart phones that most of us now keep with us 24/7 epitomize the first of many new IoT devices. They are packed with sensors, most notably MEMS motion sensors (accelerometers and gyroscopes) and MEMS microphones, and connect to the internet. Without MEMS, there would be no IoT or certainly less IoT.
For the now, say the next couple years, most IoT devices will be designed around available MEMS-based packaged parts with digital interfaces. The integration of the MEMS sensing elements with surrounding analog/mixed-signal (A/MS) electronics will be handled by the MEMS suppliers and the IoT designers only have to deal with sensor integration at the digital design and software/firmware levels. Looking ahead though, say three years and beyond, it’s a safe bet that market demands and competitive pressures will require IoT devices with lower cost, smaller size, lower power and higher performance. All those good things can only happen with a higher level of multi-technology integration at the package, wafer and die levels. There will be more MEMS devices on each die and more integration of MEMS and A/MS through wafer bonding. And there will be more integration of multiple technologies such as MEMS, A/MS, digital logic, memory and RF within a package through tried-and-true wire bonding and evolving through-silicon-via (TSV) technology. Developers of high-volume consumer IoT devices will lead the charge, but sooner or later the higher package-level integration demands will reach all market segments. For this increasing package-level integration to come to pass, IoT developers will require the sophisticated MEMS integration like the solutions that Coventor offers.
Here are the three key MEMS/IoT integration challenges that MEMS+ 6.0 addresses:
- Provide a robust design flow for including MEMS in system designs in the MathWorks environment and circuit design in the Cadence environment;
- Provide a platform for MEMS Process Design Kits (PDKs) to accelerate growth of the fabless/fab-lite business model for MEMS; and
- Accurately predicting packaging effects on MEMS sensors (see my recent editorial in Chip Scale Review on this topic).
I’ll expand on each of these challenges and how MEMS+ 6.0 addresses them in future blogs.
About 11 months ago, I wrote a piece titled “Money for data and your MEMS for free.” In that, I took on the thinking that TSMC is just going to ride into town, fab trillions of IoT sensors, and they all will be 2.6 cents ten years from now. Good headline, but the technology and economics are not that simple. This may be the semiconductor version of putting a man on the moon by 1970, but instead of one big rocket, we are building little things.
– Don Dingee, Read the full article at SemiWiki
In thinking about the architecture and functioning of the IoT, I came to represent it as a nervous system. Commands and data flow through the architecture of IoT while computations are performed at the appropriate location in the system. The end terminal points of IoT, just like in the human nervous system function as the interface with the outside world. MEMS are indispensable to the proper functioning of the interface, yet, as focused as we are on electronics, we seldom give prominence to MEMS when the IoT is discussed in EDA circles.
– by Gabe Moretti, Read the full article at Chip Design
Microsensors can help enable designers to create smaller and more versatile Internet of Things-enabled devices and nodes. On Oct. 5, Coventor Inc. announced MEMS+6.0, the newest version of its MEMS design platform. It represents a step toward a MEMS design automation flow that works seamlessly with the well-established CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) design flow, letting designers integrate MEMS into electronics and packaging faster.
– by Megan Crouse, Read the full article at Product Design and Development