HMT started its first ASIC design immediately after its foundation in 1978 as a spin-off from the Swiss watch industry. In the following 38 years, the company has gone on to develop, test and supply over 500 ASICs. Today it has 37 staff, including a substantial team of 22 qualified electronic engineers, and thrives in the Biel area of Switzerland where there is a strong tradition in precision mechanical engineering and microelectronics. The company is a member of the privately owned HiDensity group, an organisation for the development, production and sales of customer specific circuits and electronic modules with a focus on miniaturisation.
HMT specialises in "mixed signal" ASICs and modules, particularly for sensors and actuators. In these devices the analogue elements meet the digital directly, in tough and varied environments such as automotive and medical. Our customers are under intense pressure to reduce cost and physical size, while extracting increased performance with minimal power consumption, often in electronically harsh environments. The only way forward is through integration, squeezing as many elements as possible, both analogue and digital, onto one device. HMT provides the unique skill set required to meet these needs. Of course, analogue meets digital elsewhere as well, from timers to telecomms, from power supplies to piezo drivers. HMT is pleased to have served customers in this wide range of applications and backgrounds.
HMT is a "fabless" design house, and ASIC and module production itself is carried out with our industrial partners. This approach allows HMT to support a specialised and focused design team, and additionally enables us to select the most appropriate technology for each customer from a palette of providers. The key to smooth operation is fostering close and long-term working relationships with our suppliers. At the head of the list are the semiconductor fabs, where our location is to our advantage. The european semiconductor fabs lead the world in mixed voltage combined analogue/digital processes, and HMT has been working with the best for many years: ST Microelectronics, Philips Semiconductor, ON Semiconductor and recently Atmel Microelectronics.
Circuit design is, naturally, only one element in the development of an ASIC or module product. Most projects take the path from feasibility study, through design, prototype manufacture and evaluation, to packaging, qualification, production, in-house test, and finally to stock managment. It is our goal at HMT to offer a complete service, providing our customers with all of these elements.
At HMT our design team is dedicated to customer designs. This allows us to concentrate on one business model, streamlining the company for customer needs and clearly defining that design ownership remains with the customer. We are committed to a philosophy of openness with our customers, providing clear documentation and continuous progress updates for ongoing work. Our customers remain fully in control of their projects over the whole production life-time.
Our customers are distinguished by their variety, from small manufacturers to household names, Europe and world-wide, in industrial, automotive, aeronautic and medical arenas. Production ranges from 2 wafers per year (some thousands of devices) up to many wafer lots per year (millions of devices). We have positioned ourselves to provide packaged ASIC knowledge, supporting customers with little or no ASIC and module experience, while at the same time we are proud to be selected by major semiconductor manufactures to assist in their own developments.