PANORAMA Synergy will be focusing on testing the manufacturing and packaging of its LumiMEMS Reader technology during the current 2015-2016 Financial Year.
The Perth-based company is developing the LumiMEMS sensors for biological and chemical detection. The technology was developed in partnership with the UWA Microelectronics Research Group over the course of over a decade.
LumiMEMS Reader differs from standard MicroElectroMechanical Systems, in that it uses an optical readout system, rather than an electrical one. This allows the technology to provide greater sensitivity and accuracy in measurements, while being substantially smaller than current MEMS sensors.
Panorama Synergy also claims the LumiMEMS Reader has greater robustness in harsher environments, uses less energy, and can be deployed with no electronics on board, allowing use in intrinsically safe applications.
Because LumiMEMS Reader uses optical readout, it is not subject to electrical interference, allowing deployment in the field, rather than solely in controlled laboratory environments. This allows sensing in the field, rather than sending samples to the lab.
The company partnered with the University of Western Australia to create and test the first LumiMEMS Reader prototype in December. Since then, the company has been exploring manufacturing and packaging options.
Panorama Synergy is using the fables MEMS model, where manufacturing is outsourced to other foundries. It plans to mitigate manufacturing risk by using multiple global leading foundries. It will also use licensing and joint ventures to outsource manufacturing to its customers.
Already, the company has entered into key agreements with foundries such as Canadian Microelectronics Technology, the Institute of Microelectronics in Singapore, and Innovative Microsystems Technology in California.
The company expects to silicon manufacturing, photonics manufacturing and mass manufacturing testing to take place during the current financial year, refining the production of the product iteratively.
Thus far, Panorama Synergy has tested the manufacturing processes in small batch runs at the foundries, and found 100 percent success rate at placing and aligning the photonics components with an accuracy tolerance of one micron. The next step will be to achieve similar success in a small batch run on the MEMS structures.
The company is also developing the “packaging” of the end-market device, which will be thumb-sized. This covers the laser, laser light, electronics, filters (e.g. dust protection) and overall design of the LumiMEMS Reader device.
Panorama Synergy says it will continue to develop new prototypes and explore its in house R&D, as well as potential partnerships and acquisitions for closely related or complementary technologies. It is also considering a number of IoT product development opportunities.