Matt Crowley joins Nanusens as strategic advisor

27th October 2023
Harry Fowle

Nanusens has announced that MEMS veteren Matt Crowley has joined the company as a strategic advisor.

Nanusens CEO, Josep Montanyà, said, “A veteran of the MEMS industry, having worked on MEMS and sensors at Sand 9, Vesper and Qualcomm, Matt’s experience will be invaluable in helping Nanusens rapidly bring its MEMS-within-ASICs technology to market.”

Matt Crowley said, “The fabless semiconductor industry has thrived for decades because it uses a single standard manufacturing process, CMOS, that allows the industry to achieve massive scale, lower cost and constantly improving performance. This dynamic does not exist in the MEMS industry which is why it takes many years and tens of millions of dollars to create a new MEMS product. Nanusens is the first MEMS company to convincingly demonstrate technology that will change this paradigm by making MEMS directly in CMOS itself.

“When I first met Nanusens' CEO, Josep Montanyà, I was sceptical of his claim that Nanusens can make a variety of MEMS devices such as accelerometers, pressure sensors and antenna switches. As someone with 20 years of experience in MEMS, I have seen many claims that could not live up to the hype, but, as I dug into the data and asked hard questions, I became convinced that, although it has not yet been proven at scale, this technology does work. Transforming the MEMS business model from one with discrete devices manufactured on dedicated lines to MEMS as a licensable IP block at major CMOS foundries will change the paradigm for a wide class of MEMS devices. It is a bold vision and I am thrilled to join Nanusens as an advisor to help make that vision a reality.”

Technology backgrounder

Nanusens is the only company to have perfected the building of sensors within chips. The sensors, called MEMS, are built using the standard chip manufacturing techniques, called CMOS, that are used to build the electronic circuits on chips and at the same time as the rest of the chip circuitry. This means that chips with Nanusens embedded sensors can be made in any of the many CMOS fab in virtually unlimited numbers and with the high yields that are normal in such fabs with all the benefits of low unit costs that fab production provides.

A key new innovation by the company is development of a novel control circuit that measures the capacitance changes within the sensor to provide sensor data. Like the sensor itself, this is also a digital IP block so it can be incorporated in the floor plan of the device’s control chip, or ASIC, using standard EDA tools. This pairing for sensors and control circuitry as IP is unique as no other sensor solution can be turned into an IP block and made using standard CMOS techniques within the layers of the chip structure. This also significantly reduces the complexity and bill of materials costs for an AIoT device.  

Nanusens has already built accelerometer sensors into an ASIC chip using this unique technology. It is developing many other different types of embedded sensors such as gyroscopes, magnetometers, pressure sensors, microphones, IR imagers and gas sensors as most of these are variants of the accelerometer design. These open many other massive markets for its embedded sensors such as smartphones, earbuds, wearables, automotive, medical equipment and aerospace, to name but a few. As a result, the company has started a Series A funding round.

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