The gadgets that make technology so cool these days aren't exactly resilient on the inside. That's where ePack comes in, helping tech firms protect their latest innovations.
The Ann Arbor-based firm is developing technology that helps protect micro devices, such as the motion sensor in a Nintendo Wii. Without such protection these micro devices would be dead on arrival. ePack's solutions are built on years of intellectual property developed at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. The University of Michigan is one of the few places in the world that has demonstrated reliable wafer-level vacuum packaging.
"A small amount of moisture or small particles can ruin their performance," says Jay Mitchell, president and CEO of ePack. Vacuum encapsulation at wafer level packaging provides moisture and particulate protection while also being cost effective and scalable . In addition, ePack's technology provides a vacuum environment, which is important for gyroscopes and other MEMS devices. ePack packaging can be applied to all MEMS devices.
Chip-level packaging involves older semiconductor fabrication technology and suffers from high manufacturing costs and decreased reliability. Batch level packaging is cheaper and higher performing
The 2-year-old University of Michigan spin-off is starting to raise grant money, which has allowed it to go from its two founding members to a staff of three people, an independent contractor and a couple of advisors. The firm hopes to hire one more person this year and several more in 2011.
For right now it's trying to finish development of its technology so it can go for equity investment in 2011 or later. The long-term plan is to reach the point where it can open a manufacturing facility and produce the technology it is developing.
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