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Question 1
One of the top 30 MEMS companies in 2010 is Analog Devices. This company produces a lot
of electronic components and devices, including MEMS devices. One of their MEMS product is the
ADXL330 accelerometer. The ADXL330 is a low power 3-axis accelerometer which can measure static
acceleration due to gravity and dynamic acceleration such as motion and vibration. It has a
sensitivity of at least 3g. It can operate within the temperature range of -25C to +70C and within
the voltage supply range of 1.8V to 3.6V. This accelerometer produces analog output signals in the
form of voltage which corresponds to the acceleration measured. The sensor in ADXL330 is a
polysilicon surface micromachined structure which is built on top of a silicon wafer. The structure is
suspended over the wafer surface by polysilicon springs. When the sensor experiences an
acceleration force, the springs will provide a resistance, causing the structure to deflect. The
deflection of the structure is measured by using a differential capacitor which consists of fixed plates
and plates attached to a moving mass. Acceleration forces cause the mass to deflect and unbalances
the differential capacitor, producing an output with amplitude proportional to the acceleration. The
magnitude and direction of the acceleration are determined using phase-sensitive demodulation
techniques (Analog Devices, 2007).
Since the ADXL330 is a very small and low power accelerometer, it is often used for motion
and tilt sensing in mobile devices, gaming systems and disk drive protection. In smartphones, the
accelerometer is used in detecting the orientation of the phone to adjust the screen display between
portrait or landscape views. The accelerometer is also used in some mobile game applications which
involve tilting such as car racing games. Another use of accelerometers in mobile devices is for
health applications. The accelerometer is used as a pedometer, which can detect and count how
many steps the user takes. Next, the ADXL330 can also be used in gaming systems such as the
Nintendo Wii Remote (Wisniowski, 2006). The 3-axis accelerometer senses input motion made by
the user and reflects the motion in the screen display, allowing the user to control and interact with
items in the game. This allows for a realistic 3D game experience. Another application of this
accelerometer is for disk drive protection in laptops. The accelerometer is used in a system called
active hard-drive protection to detect high acceleration or vibration when the laptop experiences
strong impact due to falling. When this happens, the software tells the hard disk to unload its heads
to prevent them from crashing with the platter (Active hard-drive protection, n.d) which can cause
permanent damage to the hard disk.
Following its release in 2006, the ADXL330 is very popular in low cost and low power motion
and tilt sensing applications. As mentioned before, the ADXL330 is used for motion sensing in the
Nintendo Wii Remote which is a popular device in the gaming world. The ADXL330 can be paired
with an AVR microcontroller (Windell, 2007) to detect the tilt direction of the accelerometer to study
the basic operation of the accelerometer. Currently, however, the ADXL330 has been succeeded by
newer products such as the ADXL335 and ADXL337 which have better precision than their
Another product created by Analog Devices is a MEMS microphone called ADMP504. The
ADMP504 is a high performance, very low noise and low power omnidirectional microphone. A
microphone converts acoustic signals to electrical signals. The ADMP504 microphone consists of a

MEMS transducer element, an impedance converter and an output amplifier. In the microphone
package, there is a hole for acoustic signals to reach the transducer element. The transducer is a
variable capacitor with a very high output impedance. The signals from the transducer is sent to the
impedance converter to reduce the output impedance to something more usable when the
microphone is connected in an audio signal chain (Lewis, 2013). The ADMP504 produces analog
output. This MEMS microphone has a very high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and consumes low current,
enabling a long battery life for portable applications (Analog Devices, 2012).
The ADMP504 microphone is generally used as built-in microphones in smartphones,
laptops, video cameras and tablet computers because it is very small and low power, which makes it
suitable for portable devices. It is also used in teleconferencing systems and security and
surveillance systems. In a research conducted by Xin Zhang et al. (2014), they used the ADMP504 to
detect the direction of passing vehicles by collecting the noise made by the vehicles for surveillance
purposes. Another notable application that can use the MEMS microphone is hearing aids. Although
traditionally condenser microphones are used in hearing aids, new MEMS microphones which are
low power and high performance may be applied in the near future (Lewis & Moss, 2013).
The ADMP504 as an analog MEMS microphone has less circuitry and smaller packages
compared to digital MEMS microphones. Thus, the analog microphone is more popularly used in
space-constrained designs such as small mobile devices. The ADMP504 was first introduced and
manufactured by Analog Devices along with many other types of MEMS microphones, but recently
their MEMS microphone series were sold to another company, thus the ADMP504 was renamed to
INMP504 in 2014.

Active hard drive protection. (n.d.). Retrieved October 9, 2014 from Wiki:
Analog Devices (2007). Small, Low Power, 3-Axis 3 g i MEMS Accelerometer. Retrieved October 9,
2014 from
Analog Devices (2012). Ultralow Noise Microphone with Bottom Port and Analog Output. Retrieved
October 9, 2014 from
Lewis J. & Moss B. (2013). MEMS Microphones, the Future for Hearing Aids. Retrieved October 9,
2014 from
Lewis J. (2013). Analog and Digital MEMS Microphone Design Considerations. Retrieved October 9,
2014 from
Windell H. (2007). Using an ADXL330 accelerometer with an AVR microcontroller. Retrieved October
9, 2014 from
Wisniowski H. (2006). Analog Devices and Nintendo Collaboration Drives Video Game Innovation
with I MEMS Motion Signal Processing Technology. Retrieved October 9, 2014 from
Xin Zhang et al. (2014) Design of Small MEMS Microphone Array Systems for Direction Finding of
Outdoors Moving Vehicles. Journal of U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine.
doi: 10.3390/s140304384 or

Question 2
Process flow of
1. The process starts with a silicon wafer.


2. A protective layer of silicon dioxide is deposited on all sides of the wafer.

3. Mask 1 is placed on top of the wafer and is used to pattern the area to be etched. The
exposed area of the silicon dioxide layer is then removed using hydrofluoric acid during

4. A p-type well is created in the area where the silicon is exposed using ion implantation.

5. Silicon dioxide is removed using HF etchant.

6. Silicon dioxide is deposited again on all sides of the wafer.

7. Mask 2 is used to pattern the cavity area. The underlying silicon dioxide is removed using HF
etchant, revealing the silicon layer.

8. The silicon wafer is immersed in a wet silicon etchant. The exposed area is etched, resulting
in a cavity. The etching stops at the p-type layer.

9. The outer silicon dioxide layer is removed using HF.

10. A layer of aluminium is deposited on top of the wafer.

11. The Al layer is coated with Mask 3 and then patterned through lithography. The exposed
metal is then etched, revealing an area for the metal pads and conductors.