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.
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.
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
The latest version of the company’s MEMS design tool accelerates development of customised, highly integrated sensors for the Internet of Things: it also adds links to MathWorks Simulink for faster, accurate simulation.
Coventor, MEMS design automation specialist, has announced MEMS+ 6.0, describing it as a significant advance toward a MEMS design automation flow that complements the well-established CMOS design flow, enabling faster integration of MEMS with electronics and packaging. MEMS+ 6.0 features enable the use of process design kits (PDKs) for MEMS, and include second-generation model reduction capabilities.
– by Graham Prophet, Read the full article at EE Times Europe
By Dr. Stephen Breit | Vice President of Engineering, Coventor
ChipScale Review September – October 2015
The trend of integrating heterogeneous technologies at the package level is now well underway, and includes MEMS sensors. Heterogeneous package-level integration arguably reached a new level with the release of the Apple Watch. A Chipworks teardown shows more than 30 die in Apple’s S1 package. Curiously, among the few components that are not included in the S1 package are a MEMS inertial measurement unit (IMU) by ST Microelectronics and MEMS microphones by Knowles. Surely Apple and other IoT device makers will strive to achieve higher-density, package-level integration of MEMS sensors in the future, but will need to overcome specific packaging challenges associated with MEMS.