MEMS Design Service Firm, AMFitzgerald, was founded in 2003. MEMS Design Service Firm, AMFitzgerald, was founded in 2003.

New AMFitzgerald & Sumitomo Piezoelectric MEMS Partnership

Diversity Champions MEMS/Nanotechnology R&D Breakthrough Sensors and Transducers Strategic Partnerships Test and Measurement

The Burlingame, California-based AMFitzgerald & Associates LLC, a renowned MEMS design services company, has announced its new strategic partnership with the Amagasaki, Japan-based MEMS Infinity, a foundry subsidiary of Sumitomo Precision Products Co. Ltd., for the expedited commercialization of lead-zirconate-titanate (PZT) based piezoelectric MEMS sensors and actuators.

MEMS Design Service Firm, AMFitzgerald, was founded in 2003.

MEMS Infinity is a newly launched division within Sumitomo. The foundry features a 20,000-square-foot cleanroom, which houses dedicated 150 mm and 200 mm silicon wafer fabrication lines. The facility includes PZT-specific patterning and proprietary epitaxial-PZT (epi-PZT) thin film deposition equipment.

Under the partnership with MEMS Infinity, AMFitzgerald can use MEMS Infinity’s aerospace-grade prototyping services.

In recent years, PZT technology has emerged as a promising technology breakthrough for further advancement of MEMS-based sensing and actuation technologies. With it, manufacturers can create new and innovative designs and revitalize established designs that have relied on capacitive silicon etch techniques.

Among the diverse applications for PZT technology are earbud microspeakers, automotive LiDAR micromirrors, medical ultrasound imaging, microfluidics, and AR/VR and haptic systems. Current thin-film PZT manufacturers include MEMS Infinity, Rohm, Fujifilm, Silex Microsystems, Bosch, STMicroelectronics, and TSMC.

Of this new partnership, Dr. Alissa M. Fitzgerald, the Founder and CEO of AMFitzgerald, noted, “As a material that enables many types of emerging, performance-intensive MEMS devices, thin-film PZT is much in demand, PZT, however, requires specific process tools and expertise that are not widespread. For companies trying to develop PZT MEMS technologies, it’s been especially difficult to access commercial-quality material during development stages while wafer volumes are low. That’s a problem because using poorly controlled research-grade materials during prototyping really slows down product development. But that’s about to change. Our new alliance with MEMS Infinity will give our customers an integrated design-to-manufacture solution using high-quality PZT from day one.”

Masahiko Tanaka, managing executive officer of Sumitomo Precision Products, said, “For decades, SPP has used production-proven processes of its high-quality PZT to produce MEMS inertial sensors for the most demanding applications,” said,” in a statement. “To respond to increasing worldwide needs, our foundry expansion through MEMS Infinity broadens our manufacturing capability in PZT MEMS. Together with AMFitzgerald – our choice collaborator for PZT MEMS design and product development – we can deliver an exceptional solution for customer needs in growing markets.”

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About AMFitzgerald:

AMFitzgerald was founded by Dr. Alissa M. Fitzgerald in 2003 to provide MEMS development services to a growing industry. AMFitzgerald was one of the first service companies to successfully leverage university fabs (Stanford and UCB) to build prototypes and validate designs prior to foundry volume manufacturing. Their business model enables them to provide highly sophisticated prototyping services to clients without the financial burden of owning a fab, which in turn, allows the company to stay focused on high value MEMS development services. AMFitzgerald engineers build prototypes at UCB Marvell Nanolab and perform testing in the company’s own Class 100 cleanroom. Successful prototypes are then transferred to commercial foundries around the world for volume manufacturing.

Source/Photo Credit: AMFitzgerald