New MEMs, nanotechnology device provider launches

New MEMs, nanotechnology device provider launches

A group of industry veterans has launched a new company aimed at helping customers side-step the high cost of design and fabrication of nano-devices for use in markets including medical and biotechnology, radio frequency wireless, defense and aerospace, automotive, and industrial and environmental.

NanoVance company founders come from the microelectromechanical systems (MEMs), semiconductors and nanotechnology industries. It uses a network of partners with fabrication facilities serving essentially as outsourcers, and contracts with them to have devices made for its customers.

"The customer asks us to make the device and we do that," company co-founder and chief operating officer, Dan Nelson, said. NanoVance is responsible for design, packaging, scheduling and pricing, among other tasks.

"We are, in fact, a device manufacturer," he said.

The company offers program management, device design and prototyping, process development, production volume fabrication and packaging and testing.

Because of non-disclosure agreements, Nelson and Ellery Buchanan, the company chief executive officer and a co-founder, said they could not publicly provide names of network partners or of customers, but that NanoVance was able to work with clients ranging from startups to those requiring high-volume device production.

At least part of the motivation for starting the company wais the ongoing struggle in the MEMs industry where all operations are cost centers. They're costing a lot of money.

The industry couldn't survive like that, Buchanan said.

Although the definitions vary, MEMs are integrated microscopic devices or systems with electrical and mechanical components fabricated with integrated circuit (IC) batch-processing techniques. MEMs are used as controls, sensors and actuators. For example, MEMs technology is used in bio-chemical sensors, medical diagnostic devices, vehicle airbag sensors, domestic security devices, air-data sensors and radio frequency switches.

Likewise, there are variable definitions for nanotechnology, but collectively applies to any technology on the nanometer scale.

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