新闻中心
当前位置:网站首页 > 关于我们 > 新闻中心新闻中心
Hanking starts building Chinese MEMS wafer fab
 【发布时间:2012-5-31】 【信息来源:EETimes】 【点击次数:2102】 【字体: 】【打印文章

    LONDON – Hanking Group (Shenyang, China), a mining and metal processing conglomerate in the north-east of China, has begun building what could become a major wafer fab for the manufacture of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS).

    Hanking is looking to make inertial sensors and silicon membrane microphones which are all in high demand in China, but has also talked about tire pressure monitor sensors and microfluidic MEMS for medical applications. China currently imports almost all the MEMS devices used in the high volumes of electronic equipment made in the country. The company should be able to find ready buyers at Chinese system makers for the components which would be lower cost than imported MEMS due to an absence of duties and lower labor costs.

    The group has created a wholly-owned subsidiary, Hanking Electronics Co. Ltd., as the means to achieve its goal and recruited MEMS industry veteran Doug Sparks as executive vice president to help execute the plan. Sparks reports to Lucy Huang, president and CEO.

    Construction of the wafer fab started in March 2012 in Fushun about 40 miles east of Shenyang. The buildings will sit in the Hanking MEMS Industrial Park (HMIP) which occupies about 160 acres in Fushun Economic Development Zone and for which the roads were laid out during the 2011 construction season, Sparks said.

    Hanking has committed to spend 3 billion yuan (about $475 million) on three phases of development there. Although Sparks is looking to install 200-mm equipment initially, the building is being made "compatible with 300-mm wafer production," he said. The transition to 300-mm wafer processing for MEMS, something not yet done by any manufacturers in the MEMS sector, would come in a few years, Sparks predicted.

    The first phase of the MEMS wafer fab will be capable of producing about 4,000 200-mm wafer starts per month in 2014, Sparks said. "We'll have the back-end processing – things like electroplating and bulk etch going by 2013 – It may be another year before we have everything running," he said.

    Ultimately Hanking wants to be a MEMS IDM making components under its own badge, although it may then run a mix of 70 percent own-brand and 30 percent foundry wafers, Sparks said. However, before it can do that it will likely need to start by offering foundry services to eastablished MEMS manufacturers.

    Sparks said that he has been looking at partnerships with MEMS IDMs and foundries. A contract to be a China-based manufacturer on behalf of a MEMS maker would let Hanking install a "copy-exact" equipment line and begin to learn its MEMS skills while making product for someone else. "We've been talking to a couple of potential strategic partners," said Sparks but he declined to reveal names.

    Sparks said that he was also talking to MEMS foundry Memscap SA (Bernin, France) about bringing the MUMPS system to China. MUMPS is a system of standardized process modules that enables the sharing of wafer area by multiple customers, similar to multiproject wafer (MPW) runs in CMOS.

    MUMPS stands for Multi-User MEMS Processes. It is a program that was originally developed at the University of California Berkeley in the 1980s before moving to Microelectronics Corporation of North Carolina (MCNC) and brought up as a means of providing academics with access to MEMS prototyping. The service was transferred to Cronos Integrated Microsystems Inc. including a wafer fab in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, which was then acquired by Memscap in 2003. Memscap uses the facility to provide customers with access to MEMS prototyping and then transition to volume manufacturing.

    Sparks said that a lot of small companies in Chinese could be interested in MEMS if they could access such a low-cost access system. Hanking also has offices in Cleveland, Ohio. "We've started doing some designs there to get things off the ground," said Sparks.

    Sparks added that Hanking Electronics is also looking to re-label and some electronic products in China in the area of wireless sensor networks as a means of building up its sales and marketing infrastructure.

    Hanking is not the first company to build a MEMS fab in China. Memsic Inc. (Andover, Mass.), a 1999 spin-off from Analog Devices Inc. constructed a back-end fab in Wuxi that worked with processed CMOS wafers from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd.

    Before taking up his current position with Hanking Electronics in October 2011, Sparks had worked with MEMS company Integrated Sensing Systems Inc. (Ypsilanti, Michigan) for ten years and prior to that had worked on automotive MEMS for 17 years at Delco which became Delphi.

    It was while Sparks was at Delphi that he hired a Chinese MSc. graduate from Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio), Lucy Huang, who subsequently landed the top job at Hanking Electronics.