May 02,2012

eMemory NeoBit Silicon IP to Play an Important Role in MEMS Applications

Hsinchu, Taiwan (May. 02, 2012)- eMemory’s NeoBit embedded non-volatile memory (eNVM) silicon IP has a very broad application scope. NeoBit silicon IP applications can be found in power management ICs, advanced LCD driver ICs, and audio codec ICs, and in the currently hot field of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), NeoBit silicon IP can also be applied as an important bridge for communication between sensor and controller ICs in MEMS modules. eMemory has been at work for developing MEMS-specific silicon IP applications since 2008, and is currently engaged in mass production thereof at wafer fabs in the China and Taiwan regions. It is expected that NeoBit silicon IP will continue to play an important role in the applications of MEMS in the future, and become one of the major driving force in the field of advanced technology.

MEMS is an industrial technology that integrates microelectronics technology with mechanical engineering, usually using semiconductor manufacturing technology to integrate electronic and mechanical functions into a micro-scale device. Product categories are roughly divided into accelerometers, gyroscopes, and pressure sensors, which are primarily used to detect variations in speed, orientation or air pressure. Typical MEMS applications include piezo printheads used in printers, airbag safety systems in automobiles, and display rotation mechanisms in mobile phones. In recent years, large-scale incorporation of gyroscopes as motion sensors in consumer electronics products, such as video game consoles, smart phones, and tablet computers, has caused an explosion in demand for MEMS components in the marketplace. According to the current estimates by American ABI Research, the MEMS market will grow to approximately US$1.5B by 2016, representing shocking commercial potential.

Typical MEMS modules include sensor and controller ICs. Sensor ICs are responsible for detecting physical magnitudes, such as speed, pressure, or angular variations, and transmitting the physical magnitudes to controller ICs. Controller ICs convert the magnitudes into numerical values to send to the system, such as a mobile phone or tablet PC, which can respond accordingly. eMemory’s NeoBit silicon IP has been successful in bridging the sensor IC and the controller IC, acting to store sensor parameter settings, or to record circuit characteristics and perform micro adjustments of sensors in wafer test or post-packaging functional test stages. Because controller IC dimensions are incredibly small, if embedded NeoBit silicon IP is used for storing parameter settings or micro adjusting circuits, in the stringent MEMS market that increasingly emphasizes scaling down of component dimensions and reducing power consumption, NeoBit can help shrink overall size and area of MEMS modules to dramatically lower module costs.

Electronics are already tightly integrated into the lives of people in today’s society. Portable electronics in particular, such as smart phones and tablet PCs, are already the equivalent of handheld miniature computers. People use these devices to connect to the virtual world of the Internet, and expand their personal relationships and even their life experience through social websites and micro-applications. Tech devices like smart phones also use all kinds of sensors to make contact with the real world, sensing changes in all types of human emotions and movements, interpreting the environment around us, and providing even higher quality of life. Humans and technology are already inseparable, and the evolution of such innovative technologies as eNVM and MEMS will promote smoother interoperation of all kinds of sensors and controllers, allowing higher precision and finer sensing. It is expected that NeoBit will play an indispensible role in the fields of advanced technology, such as the next-generation memory, display, and biomedical technologies, thereby greatly enriching our lives.