RUSNANO co-invests in the development of electronic components for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) for use in sensors, computing and telecommunications equipment. American company SiTime Corporation, an industry leader in development of MEMS-based high-performance oscillators and silicon timing solutions, is its partner in the endeavor. The project has a total budget of $22 million of which RUSNANO finances up to $15 million. The allocated resources will be directed toward expanding SiTime's research base, broadening the geography of its sales, and establishing a development center in Russia.
Under the terms of the investment agreement, which was approved by RUSNANO's Executive Board, SiTime will establish a new subdivision in Russia where it will design the next generation of MEMS-based oscillators. The company currently has R&D centers in California and Ukraine. The products that SiTime designs are produced at plants in the US and Taiwan, Jazz and TSMC, respectively. There are no plans to build proprietary production capacity under the project.
SiTime specializes in clock generators used in data transmission equipment. Most systems of this kind employ quartz resonators, which are produced and assembled individually using mechanical means. Quartz resonators are the only component that cannot be integrated into a CMOS chip — the generators are too large and require installation in their own ceramic packaging. SiTime has resolved that problem with MEMS-nanoresonators; they can be integrated into any system-in-package or multi-chip-module CMOS crystal. SiTime products are stable at high temperatures; their digit frequency control is precise; they have long service lives and consume little energy.
The RUSNANO-SiTime project will sell infrastructure solutions for telecommunications, computing equipment, navigation systems, sensor networks for environmental control, and many other applications requiring precise frequency generators. The global market for synchronization devices — including resonators, generators, and synchronizing chips — is estimated at $5 billion. The Russian market for oscillators is put at $80 million.
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