MASER Engineering participated in the European ENIAC JU-funded “EPAMO” project, which is an abbreviation of “Energy-efficient Piezo-MEMS tunable RF front-end Antenna systems for MObile devices”.


Duration: 3 years (April 2011 – March 2014).
Project extended with 6 months to September 2014.

Project Overview

Future wireless communication systems need to cope with the increased number of frequency bands and advanced mobile phone standards supporting high data rates. At the same time mobile phone systems have to become more energy-efficient in order to contribute to the Grand Challenge “CO2-reduction”. The EPAMO project will address both aspects by exploring and implementing multiple innovative processes and testing technologies to realize an adaptive antenna front-end system for 4G mobile phones. Due to closed-loop antenna tuning the radio power levels can be reduced in the mobile phone by more than 50%, in the base stations by at least 10%. It is estimated that the implementation of this technology has a global energy saving potential of more than 10.000 GWh per year.

EPAMO has the objective to explore the potential of unprecedented ultra-high density RF-MEMS switch arrays to be integrated in an energy-efficient agile RF transceiver with reconfigurable antenna. Key crosscutting More-than-Moore and heterogeneous integration technologies are high-force piezoelectric MEMS actuators based on Lead Zirconate Titanate (PZT) thin films, high reliability metallic contact switches, and low-loss silicon and composite glass-silicon 8” wafer substrates.
Fine pitch through-wafer vias will allow high-density 3D system integration in ultra-small RF module substrates with integrated components.

Contribution MASER Engineering

MASER Engineering will participate in the EPAMO project in two main areas, reliability testing and failure analysis. The first item consists of implementing new reliability strategies for the RF-MEMS devices and the practical setup development for the robustness approval in hand-held applications. The second participation field is in the preparation and implementation of failure analysis procedures, tooling and techniques in order to be prepared for product field returns of complex devices with multiple devices in a package, including MEMS devices.

Project Consortium

  • AixACCT Systems, Germany (link).
  • Boschman Technologies, The Netherlands (link).
  • Christian-Albrechts University of Kiel – Wireless Communications (CAU-CWC), Germany (link).
  • Fraunhofer Gesellschaft – Institut für Silicon Technologie (FhG ISiT), Germany (link).
  • Fraunhofer Gesellschaft – Institut für Zuverlässigkeit und Mikrointegration (FhG IZM), Germany (link).
  • MASER Engineering, The Netherlands (link).
  • Okmetic, Finland (link).
  • Picosun, Finland (link).
  • Plan Optik, Germany (link).
  • Silex Microsystems, Sweden (link).
  • SolMateS, The Netherlands (link).
  • TNO, The Netherlands (link).
  • TDK-Epcos AG, Germany (link).
  • TDK-Epcos NL, The Netherlands (link).
  • University of Twente – Semiconductor Components, The Netherlands (link).
  • VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Finland (link).



Project information

  • EPAMO website (link).
  • Project profile on ENIAC JU website (link).
  • EPAMO section on CAU Kiel University website (link).


  • Silex Jaarverslag 2014 small.jpgOVHM X-ray image made by MASER Engineering of Silex 8-turn 3D TSV inductor coil test stucture on frontpage of Silex Microsystems AB (publ) Årsredovisning 2014 (annual report 2014).
  • Presentation "3D MEMS wafer level package exemplified by RF characterized TSVs & TGVs and integration of bonding processes" on International Wafer-Level Packaging Conference, IWLPC, 2014 (San Jose, CA, USA) by Silex and MASER Engineering [11/13-11-2014] (link).
  • Article "3D MEMS wafer level package exemplified by RF characterized TSVs & TGVs and integration of bonding processes" on International Wafer-Level Packaging Conference, IWLPC, 2014 (San Jose, CA, USA) by Silex and MASER Engineering [11/13-11-2014] (link).
  • Presentation "PZT developments towards high through-put sol-gel deposition with tunable film properties for actuators, sensors and IPD applications in a MEMS foundry production line" on 4th int. workshop on piezoelectric MEMS (Kobe, Japan) by Silex [29/29-10-2014] (link) (abstract).
  • Article "Through-Silicon Vias and 3D Inductors for RF Applications" in Microwave Journal 57-2 (2014) 80-89 by Silex [13-02-2014] (link).
  • Poster "RF Solutions for Future Generation Mobile Phones" on European Nanoelectronics Forum (Barcelona, Spain) by Epcos AG [27/28-11-2013] (link).
  • Presentation "EPAMO: Enabling Next Generation RD Solutions for Mobile Phones" at 20th Anniversary seminar of MASER Engineering B.V. (Enschede, the Netherlands) by MASER Engineering / Epcos AG [15-11-2013] (link).
  • Article "The development and evaluation of RF TSV for 3D IPD applications" on 3D Systems Integration Conference, 3DIC, (San Francisco, CA, USA) by Silex and TNO [2/4-10-2013] (link).
  • Presentation "Comparability of the characterization of piezoelectric thin films for MEMS applications" on ISAF/UFFC 2013 conference (Prague, Czech republic) by aixACCT [22/25-07-2013] (link).
  • Abstract "Succesful Experiences from Integration and Compatibility program of New Piezoelectric Materials in a MEMS Foundry Production Line" on 3rd piezo-MEMS workshop (Washington, USA) by Silex [04-2013] (link).
  • Article "Vertical through-wafer insulation: enabling integration and innovation" in ElectroIQ - Solid State Technology 56-2 (2013) 13-17 by Silex [03-2013] (link).
  • Article "Comparison of C-V measurement methods for RF-MEMS capacitive switches" on ICMTS 2013 (San Diego, CA, USA) by UTwente [03-2013] (link).
  • Presentation "Advances in TSV technologies from the MEMS Perspective" on SEMI 3D TSV summit (Grenoble, France) by Silex [23-01-2013] (link).
  • Poster "Tunable antenna system for mobile phones based on piezo MEMS" on European NanoElectronics Forum (Munich, Germany) by Epcos AG [20/21-11-2012] (link).
  • Abstract "Recent development of ALD processes for metallization" on 1st international conference on ALD applications & 2nd China ALD conference (Shanghai, China) by Picosun [15/16-10-2012] (link).
  • Flyer "ALD for MEMS" on Semicon Europe (Dresden, Germany) by Picosun [9/11-10-2012] (link).
  • Presentation "Energy-efficient piezo-MEMS tunable RF frond-end antenna systems for mobile devices" on RF-MST cluster workshop (Antalya, Turkey) by Epcos AG [02-07-2012] (link).

 Press releases

  • Press release MASER Engineering [15-09-2011] (link).
  • Press release Silex [23-01-2012] (link).
  • Press release Picosun [17-01-2012] (link).
  • Press release Okmetic [19-12-2011] (link).
  • Press release Fraunhofer ISIT [01-04-2011] (link).




The work has been performed in the project EPAMO (ref. 270692-2), which is co-funded by public authorities of participant countries (Finland, Germany, Sweden, and The Netherlands) as well as by the ENIAC Joint Undertaking.

ENIAC Joint Undertaking     Agentschap NL