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Speakers and Presentation Topics

Testing MEMS devices: current challenges and emerging trends
Richard Chrusciel
Product and Business Development Manager

MEMS components debuted in the early 1990s. The introduction and rapid acceptance of smartphones and tablets fueled an explosion of MEMS devices, applications, and volumes. The devices have come a long way with advancements in technology, applications and increasing problems with cost-effective testing. The growth of MEMS device shipments along with significant decreases in average selling prices (ASPs) has put significant pressure on device handling and tests. This presentation will examine the traditional handling and test solutions, weaknesses and limitations of using traditional handling and test solutions, and provide information on handling, stimulus and test solutions for today’s requirements such as: (1) package size, type and handling, (2) motion stimulus, (3) temperature, (4) electrical test and signal path, (5) parallel test, UPH and efficiency. The presentation will also provide a comprehensive overview of the key players in the MEMS testing ecosystem, including the specific strengths for each company.

Biography: Richard Chrusciel is Product and Business Development Manager at FocusTest, Inc. He has been working in development of MEMS handling, stimulus, and test solutions since 2008 and is recognized as one of the industry’s leading experts on automated handling, stimulus, electrical test, and ATE. Mr. Chrusciel is a graduate of Boston University, College of Engineering, with a BS in Systems and Computer Engineering.

MEMS reliability: brief history, current status, and emerging trends
Allyson Hartzell
Scientific Consultant
Veryst Engineering

MEMS have been in volume production for over two decades, and marketing research predicts record numbers of MEMS for a plethora of applications such as wearables, automotive, consumer electronics and the Internet of Things. With this increase in usage, the best and most timely reliability techniques for evaluation are needed to ensure excellent field performance. Early MEMS reliability studies characterized stiction and mechanical shock-related failure modes and mechanisms (as examples). This talk will review the history of MEMS reliability with a focus on design and process fixes given our current knowledge of failure mechanisms. Today’s newest evaluation methods will also be covered as new applications and new MEMS devices require different types of reliability testing. The pros and cons of long term reliability testing will be included. Emerging trends in MEMS reliability will finalize the talk, as MEMS in systems will require system level reliability and design-in features for MEMS lifetime and data security. Examples will be given and new methods and challenges for the MEMS reliability community will be discussed.

Biography: Allyson Hartzell is a scientific consultant at Veryst Engineering with 35 years of professional experience in emerging technologies. Her experience includes work at such companies as Qualcomm, Pixtronix, Lilliputian Systems, Boston Micromachines, Exponent, Analog Devices, and IBM. Ms. Hartzell is an internationally recognized expert in MEMS reliability, and has expertise in surface chemistry and analytical techniques for failure analysis. Ms. Hartzell possesses a broad background in semiconductor and MEMS fabrication, yield enhancement, emerging technology manufacturing and reliability, packaging materials and processing, and cleanroom science -- including particulate and molecular contamination. Allyson has a Bachelor's degree from Brown University and a Master's degree from Harvard University.

Testing high performance MEMS microphones
Gerard John
Sr. Director, Advanced Packaging R&D
Amkor Technology

Telephones have driven the demand and changed the requirements for audio microphones. From the moving-coil versions that generated a voltage proportional to the incident sound wave, to the carbon granular microphone that relied on the change of resistance based on compression of the granules, to the condenser microphone that varied the capacitance across two plates. Smartphones have taken the traditional 300 Hz to 3.4 kHz audio requirements to a new level, not necessarily for the transmission of speech over a radio channel, but more towards using the smartphone as a sound recording device. Today’s smartphones require microphones that support high frequency responses, lower total harmonic distortion and higher acoustic overload points. Furthermore, microphones used in voice recognition devices require high signal-to-noise ratios and phase matching to distinguish the user’s voice from the ambient background noise. This presentation will cover the growing test requirements, including challenges faced during production testing, and focus on a currently available state-of-the-art MEMS microphone test solutions.

Biography: Gerard John joined Amkor in 2005, and has supported and managed hardware and software test development for a variety of Amkor packaging. He currently serves as an advanced test technical expert for MEMS, 2.5D, WLFO, HDFO, fine pitch probe and optical devices, supporting customers in the US and Europe. Prior to joining Amkor, Gerard worked in various semiconductor test positions for Conexant Systems, Flarion Technologies (acquired by Qualcomm) and Motorola. He holds a BA degree in electronics and telecommunications engineering from Osmania University and an MBA from Gainey School of Business in Michigan.

Optical measurement techniques for dynamic characterization of MEMS devices
Eric Lawrence
MEMS Business Development Manager

Advanced optical measurement techniques are necessary for the dynamic characterization of MEMS devices during the development process. This presentation will provide a comprehensive overview of the state-of-the-art optical measurement techniques available to measure dynamic response of microstructures. These techniques include: strobe video microscopy, white light interferometry, digital holographic microscopy, and laser Doppler vibrometry. Each technique has unique capabilities as well as limitations, and these will also be discussed in the presentation. Example measurements using laser Doppler vibrometry will be presented that show dynamic response measurements on MEMS micro mirror arrays, RF devices at the wafer level, inertial sensors, ultrasonic transducers, and SAW devices. Recent developments in technology extend the usage to 3-axis response (motion along X, Y, and Z axes) and frequency bandwidth to 1.2 GHz. In addition to discussing application examples, the presentation will also provide an update on the latest tool developments for MEMS device optical dynamic characterization techniques, as well as emerging use cases and the latest performance requirements.

Biography: Eric Lawrence is the MEMS Business Development Manager for Polytec Inc. in Irvine, CA. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Physics from University of California Santa Barbara and a Master's Degree in Physics from California State University Long Beach. He is a native of Southern California from Huntington Beach and his background is in laser optics. Eric has over 20 years' experience at Polytec as a specialist in technology for laser-based vibration measurements. His main focus has been to develop the use of laser Doppler vibrometry in the field of MEMS, and guide the business development for commercial use of this technology.

Dielectric charging on capacitive RF MEMS devices
David Molinero, PhD
Senior MEMS Characterization Engineer

RF MEMS devices are a key component of current and future mobile communications systems. The need for high fidelity tuning will become more indispensable with the further spectrum expansion down to 600MHz and up to 6GHz and higher for 5G standards. Such devices can be used to improve the antenna reception, as tunable filters, matching networks and/or switches to commute between different bands. RF MEMS tuners devices are optimal components for this purpose especially for their high Q value and high linearity performance. MEMS technology brings a special set of reliability questions about the operational lifetime that are different than conventional ICs. These reliability questions are focused on cycling lifetime and continuous hold down. One of the early factors limiting usage lifetime is dielectric charging. Dielectric charging can shorten significantly the MEMS lifetime, but it can also cause drift of the RF performance. This presentation will review efforts to understand and minimize dielectric charging, as well as characterization methodologies to monitor. The talk will highlight the main dielectric charging challenges for dielectric contact MEMS devices, and examples will be shown of different designs implemented to minimize the dielectric charging generation, as special test structures to monitor it.

Biography: Dr. David Molinero is a Senior MEMS Characterization Engineer at Wispry (USA), a MEMS company that delivers RF tunable capacitors for mobile communications based on MEMS technology. Dr. Molinero is responsible of the MEMS analysis and characterization from DC to RF on both wafer and package level. His duties also expand to explore and study new ideas to improve current performance based on reliability and RF performance. Dr. Molinero has more than 15 years of experience on MEMS devices, from fabrication to characterization, but mostly focus on dielectric charging and its impact on different aspects of MEMS functionality. He’s also been intensively involved on research about RF power handling, linearity and other MEMS failures mechanisms. Dr. Molinero has numerous journals and conferences publications, and he co-authored two patents. He received Bachelor, Master and Doctorate degree in Electrical Engineering from the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC), Barcelona, Spain.

Mechanical tests to determine MEMS microphones robustness
Ketan Patel
Vice President, Quality and Reliability

MEMS microphone applications are increasing every year due to its small size and high performance. Every new demand comes with new challenges. Reliability of the microphones needs to be improved on an ongoing basis to meet the requirements of laptops, tablets, cellphones, wearables, smart homes and smart appliances applications. Mechanical robustness is one of the key requirements in the reliability world. This presentation will discuss the different types of test methods to mitigate risk related to different types of mechanical stresses. These highly accelerated test methods will help to understand the life of microphones in different use conditions. The focus of the presentation will be on the drop test, mechanical shock, vibration, force test and ESD air discharge stresses. Different types of failure modes and failure mechanisms will also be discussed briefly.

Biography: Mr. Patel is Vice President of Quality and Reliability at Akustica, Bosch Group (USA), a MEMS microphone company that delivers the best quality products. He plays an important role in deciding product reliability and product release. Previously, he worked as Project Manager on MEMS DRIE systems, plasma sensors, helium leak detectors, hydrogen sensors, and IR sensors at Alcatel Vacuum Technology in France. His wide variety of experience and education in different sensors field is very valuable in defining and providing reliability test solutions for MEMS microphones. Mr. Patel received his MBA from University of Pittsburgh. In addition, he received Master’s in Radio Frequency Engineering from University of Strathclyde, Scotland and Master’s in Applied Physics from Maharaja Sayajirao University, India.

Technology Showcase Presenters

(listed alphabetically, by company name)

Ari Kuukkula
Sales Director

Gary Williams
Sales Manager
FRT of America

Bill Moffat
CEO & Founder
Yield Engineering Systems

Call for Speakers

This full-day workshop will provide attendees in-depth presentations, as well as networking and discussion opportunities, about the latest MEMS testing technologies and applications with topics such as:

  • Market trends and future industry projections
  • Testing equipment, tools, and methodologies
  • Front-end production equipment, tools, and processes
  • Packaging equipment, tools, and developments
  • Challenges and opportunities, including supply chain and ecosystem perspectives
  • “Pure play” foundries vs. platform-based design approaches, IDM vs. fabless approaches
  • Cost management and reduction
  • Scaling, yield improvement, rapid prototyping, and high volume production.
  • Testing for emerging technologies: TSVs, 3D stacking, wafer level packaging, CMOS MEMS integration, polymer and glass microfabrication, novel materials and coatings, lamination techniques, ultra-thin and flexible substrates.
  • EDA software and simulation tools
  • Test data collection and analysis
  • Technology transfer and intellectual property factors
  • Industry standards development