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IMT Partners with L-3 Communications for MEMS-Based Inertial Measurement Unit
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Innovative Micro Technology (IMT) of Santa Barbara, CA today announced that it has secured a contract in excess of $1.3 million with L-3 Communications, Interstate Electronics Corporation (L-3/IEC), to prototype and manufacture an advanced MEMS-based inertial measurement unit (IMU) under Phase I of L-3/IEC’s contract with the U.S. Army. The advanced Low-cost, High-G MEMS IMU device is an upgrade in performance to the currently implemented laser ring gyros at a fraction of the size and cost with huge improvements in robustness that allow survivability after 25,000 G shocks. Performance includes a drift rate of less than 1 degree/hour. The Phase I contract extends over one year.



Bob Huffman, President of L-3’s IEC subsidiary in Anaheim, CA, added “This MEMS IMU is a demanding device and IMT came highly recommended to us for complex MEMS manufacturing. After evaluation of other MEMS manufacturers, we selected IMT because of their extensive experience with sub-micron photolithography, deep RIE etching, and high-volume manufacturing – all of which are key to making our device. Their ability to deposit and etch a wide range of materials was also a major advantage over the CMOS manufacturers we considered. And since cost is a major factor, their six-inch fab provides economies over four-inch lines. We are already seeing good progress and first prototypes.”

John Foster, IMT’s CEO added, “L-3 and IEC are well-known for their state-of-the-art global positioning system (GPS) and we are proud to be partnering with them on the IMU that will be coupled to that GPS. IEC has done an excellent job of designing the IMU with our manufacturing capability in mind. We think our unique suite of capabilities is an excellent match for the stringent requirements of this device and for manufacturing it economically and with high quality. This project will produce the world’s best MEMS navigational system.”