Due to the versatility of MEMS technologies the industry still lacks a comprehensive roadmap
Contributed by Markku Tilli, Okmetic
The MEMS technology has evolved a lot during the past few decades. However, it still lacks the same kind of exhaustive roadmap that the semiconductor technology has had already since the 1990’s. The International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors, ITRS, has expanded over the years, and it covers nearly 20 chapters and well over thousand pages now. It includes forecasts on all aspects from materials to packaging and from design to environmental issues. SEMI has also organized sessions on standardization for some years now and the industry has established some globally accepted technical standards.
The MEMS industry still has a long road to travel to get to the same position where the semiconductor industry is at the moment. The need for a MEMS roadmap was only recognized in the MEMS Industry Group’s Metric workshop in March 2010. Since then the MEMS Industry Group has been working to develop a roadmap, and they have started the massive project with the standardization of testing methods. In the future, these testing standards and test method specifications could act as the nuclei of an International Technology Roadmap for MEMS, ITRM, which could mimic the structure of the semiconductor roadmap, ITRS.
One does not need to look into a crystal ball to predict, that it will still take years to develop a comprehensive roadmap, as it took with the semiconductors. What makes the task challenging is the versatility of different MEMS platforms and technologies.