7

FABRICATION EXAMPLES BASED ON STANDARD CMOS AND MEMS PROCESSES

Bernard Courtois

7.1 THE NEED FOR INFRASTRUCTURES

In microelectronics in general, infrastructures that offer custom integrated hardware manufacturing services are important for several reasons:

  • They allow students and researchers to access professional facilities at a reasonable cost.
  • They allow companies to access small-volume production, which would otherwise be difficult to obtain directly from manufacturers.

The needs of universities, research laboratories, and companies can be summarized as follows:

  • Universities need to have access to technology for teaching their students. Those students will be in the industry in the future; as such, they have to be trained in state-of-the-art technology processes.
  • Research laboratories usually need to have high-performance technologies to test new concepts. The quality of research results depends mostly on the quality of the technologies used. Access to up-to-date technologies is therefore a necessity.
  • Industrial users also need to access state-of-the-art technologies. This is vital for industrial users. The development of a product is usually long (more than 1 or 2 years). It is necessary that industrial users have access to up-to-date processes to ensure the quality of the product.

Infrastructures are also important because of the leverage effect they allow. They are a means to make the development of many projects easier by reducing time and expense when funding for individual ...

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