Paul van Gerven
12 October 2020

The Meteoriet consortium spearheaded by Salland Engineering has received close to 1 million euros from European investment fund OP-Oost to develop an all-in-one Mems testing instrument. “We’ll be able to perform automated Mems testing on an industrial scale, allowing us to position ourselves as the world’s Mems Test Valley,” says Paul van Ulsen, CEO and owner of Salland. Reportedly, there have already been inquiries about the project from abroad.

Requiring specialized equipment and procedures, testing of Mems chips is more complex than that of regular chips. As a result, Mems chips are often assembled and packaged without any testing, taking for granted that a percentage of the final modules won’t be functional. This increases the overall cost of Mems technology, and therefore discourages its adoption.

Mems test instrument
Condensing a Mems test setup to a single industrial test instrument. Credit: Oost NL

By developing an integrated approach to Mems testing, Salland, together with Bronkhorst High-Tech, Maser Engineering, Saxion University of Applied Sciences and the University of Twente, hopes to give the Mems market a boost, which will obviously benefit the test ecosystem in the (east of) the Netherlands as well. Moreover, the results of the Mems project will likely extend to other technologies with a testing bottleneck, such as integrated photonics.

The Meteoriet project has a total budget of 2.25 million euros, of which about 932 thousand euros is subsidized by the European Union through OP-Oost – the EU fund for regional development in the provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel.