Fall 2012 IAB & Research Review
September 19 to 21

Dr. David J. Monk Sensor Product Manager, Freescale

To Integrate or Not to Integrate: A Case Study on System-in-Package Integration for MEMS-based Products

In the mid-1990s, a debate was raging among MEMS manufacturers about how to implement MEMS + ASIC functions into products. Motorola SPS (now Freescale) chose a path of system-in-package (vs. system-on-chip) integration for the majority of its new products, with the stated advantage of flexibility for integrating various silicon technologies. This advantage proved very beneficial approximately a decade ago when airbag satellite accelerometers were launched to production, enabling such features as side airbags. The system-in-package approach allowed for rapid product development of small-signal capacitive outputs from the MEMS chip, coupled with high-voltage communication protocol output from the ASIC. This talk will review the history of the Freescale system-in-package development, the key challenges, solutions, and advantages that were realized with this approach, which is now adopted by several competitors in the industry.