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February 13, 2002
Olympus Commences
MEMS Foundry Services
* This news release is only for the Japanese market.
Olympus Optical Co., Ltd. (President: Tsuyoshi Kikukawa) is pleased to announce the launch of MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) Foundry Services. Beginning with MEMS-engineered designs and prototypes, Olympus will make the most of its accumulated MEMS-related technology assets and production facilities, accepting external orders to produce high value-added key components designed to meet user needs for modularization and unitization. Olympus has been engaged in MEMS development for more than ten years - the result of Olympus's advances in microfabrication and microassembly technology, powered by the company's strength in optical and micro-precision technology. With the new MEMS Foundry Services, Olympus aims to strengthen the competitiveness of its products for users and to contribute to the development of a new industry.
In October 2001, the Micromachine Center drew on nine universities and national laboratories and thirteen corporations, including Olympus, to bring together members of the Micro/Nanofabrication Technology Foundry Network System Concept Fact-Finding Committee (Chairman: Professor Kyoichi Ikeda, Department of Mechanical Systems Engineering, Faculty of Technology, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology). Olympus is proud to be one of the members of this committee and is willing to cooperate to advance the international competitive strength of MEMS technology.
Service Overview
1.  Design Engineering
Olympus can utilize its extensive technological experience and its sophisticated simulation techniques, to provide designs optimized to user needs.
2.  Prototyping
Olympus can produce prototypes for design verification with the advanced delivery time.
3.  Small Lot Production Contracting Services
Olympus can provide small-lot production upon users' requests by employing its well-performed manufacturing line.
Inquires Regarding MEMS Foundry Service
For more information regarding this new service, please contact:
MEMS_Lab@ot.olympus.co.jp
MEMS Foundry Service Philosophy
Olympus believes that MEMS technology will become the future key component of mechanical and electrical systems used in telecommunications, medical, welfare, environment and energy fields. Olympus not only confines its MEMS technology to its own products, but also offers it to external users. Thereby, the company can contribute to a strongly competitive user market and the creation of a new industry.
The History of MEMS Technology Development at Olympus
Olympus established its Semiconductor Technology Center in 1982, which led to the origin of the company's current involvement with MEMS in 1989, when Olympus began engaging in development of atomic force microscope(1) cantilevers. Over the years, Olympus has energetically pursued optical-MEMS development of other devices such as image sensors(2), photo sensors(3), BiCMOS(4) and optical scanners(5). In addition, Olympus participated in the decade-long Micromachine Project*, which began in 1991 and concluded in the spring of 2001. This project involved the development of technology used for creating micromachines that can perform diagnostics, inspections and make repairs in the tiny spaces inside humans and machines. Some of the results of this project include small-diameter, active-bending microcatheters(6) tipped with multiple silicon piezoelectric MEMS pressure sensors and diagnostic tactile sensors(7). In recent years, Olympus has also developed both preprocessing free-flow modules(8) for separating DNA and protein as microfluidics and a probe that can be used to measure protein power(9) by application of the aforementioned atomic force microscope cantilevers to biotechnology.

MEMS is very intimately tied to the technology Olympus possesses and Olympus's domain of operations. Olympus has decided to launch its MEMS Foundry Services upon determining that the social demand for MEMS will increase in the future.

* Micromachine Project Participation: The development theme from the Micromachine Project was supported through the Micromachine Center by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).
(1) Atomic Force Microscopes (AFM)
An AFM can obtain height information (profile image) of samples with nanometer-order accuracy using precision optical measurement of the deflection of the miniature leaf spring by scanning a cantilever that has a sharpened probe attached to the free-end tip of leaf spring.
(2) Image Sensors
Olympus has performed development of amplified image sensors such as the AMI (Amplified MOS Imager), SIT (Static Induction Transistor Imager) and CMD (Charge Modulation Device).
(3) Photo Sensors
An integrated device that contains light-sensitive photodiodes that change light into charges, and circuits that detect and amplify those charges. Olympus is capable of integrating supersensitive photodiodes.
(4) BiCMOS (Bipolar and Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor)
A single chip device that combines a CMOS digital circuit with a bipolar transistor analog circuit. Olympus can produce mixed analog/digital circuits to meet various needs.
(5) Optical Scanners
A scanner that oscillates at high-speed but at a stabilized frequency and that uses a millimeter-order single crystal silicon as a substrate, equipped with an aluminum mirror and electromagnetic drive. Such an optical scanner is included in Olympus' laser scanning microscope, the OLS1100.
(6) Active-Bending Microcatheters
A microcatheter tipped with multiple silicon piezoelectric MEMS pressure sensors and that uses shape-memory alloy (SMA) wires. When the pressure sensors touch a vascular wall, pressure is exerted and the SMA wires placing across the sensors are heated. As the temperature increases, the wires bend and avoid contact by moving away from the vascular wall.
(7) Diagnostic Tactile Sensors
A MEMS tactile sensor that uses a piezoelectric resonator for diagnostics. When the sensor encounters a viscoelastic substance, the oscillating frequency and oscillating amplitude change according to the viscoelastic characteristics. This effect makes it possible to detect viscoelastic properties by measuring the changes in the oscillating frequency and oscillating amplitude.
(8) Free-flow Modules
A module made of bonded glass sheets and designed using microfabrication technology. The module creates a micro path of a mere 10 µm and uses electrophoresis force to separate and extract DNA and protein from the test samples based on the difference of their charge properties.
(9) Protein Power Measurement
Measurement of the bilateral force between molecules such as DNA and protein by using a newly developed probe with a high sensitive cantilever.
*Olympus Optical Co., Ltd. was changed to OLYMPUS CORPORATION as of October 1, 2003.
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