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October 2009

San Jose, CA - InterMEMS Inc. announces Development of the World’s Smallest Pressure Sensor, the P41.  Smaller is always better right?  That is true only if it is not at the expense of Performance, Quality, and Reliability.  Since the late Eighties industry has been crying out for a smaller pressure sensor than was commercially available from any source. 

Specifically, the Biomedical Catheter market for making High Fidelity Hemodynamic measurements in Humans and small animal research, is one of those industries.  While die as small as 725µm x 1150µm x 170µm have been around since 1986, they suffered from a lack of process capability to maintain tight parametric distributions, and lot to lot repeatability problems.  There had been no appreciable progress since that time in significantly decreasing the size of monocrystalline pressure sensors … until now.

InterMEMS has succeeded in “Shattering the Silicon Floor” by introduction of its P41 Monocrystalline Piezoresistive Pressure Sensor.  With a chip size of 225µm x 650µm x 120µm, the P41 is almost 6 times smaller than previously available devices.  It is fabricated through our Novel proprietary DrieMOX™ process that represents a new way to make MEMS devices of various kinds, not simply pressure sensors.

In this approach extremely thin Single Crystal structures (on a par with deposited Polysilicon thin films) can be fabricated and released from the substrate to move freely without any special “Undercutting” etches like XeF2, no use of Silicon Fusion Bonding, Electrochemical etching, or any other such technique oriented processes being touted by others.  The resulting devices have all the materials advantages of single crystal silicon, scaling advantages similar to Polysilicon, but without the materials disadvantages of Polysilicon.   The pleasant consequence is unparalleled matching from chip to chip, wafer to wafer, and even Lot to Lot, along with performance rivaling more traditional Bulk micromachined Anisotropically etched devices.

InterMEMS has been shipping these devices in volume since late 2004, and has subsequently added the slightly larger P381 device (380µm x 880µm x 120µm) incorporating an integral temperature sensor as a complementary offering.  Both of these chips are available in either Gauge/Differential configuration, or Absolute with a built-in vacuum reference.  This family of sensors also has myriad other applications such as Sports and Dive Watches, Altimeters, and Barometers, etc. due to their small size.