By Karen Lightman, Managing Director, MEMS Industry Group
MEMS product development is not for the faint of heart. Though you will see many success stories in the industry, you will also see many failed ventures (did anyone say “telecom bubble?”), several bankruptcies (TeraVicta to name one), gray hair (or no hair), and divorces (sad, but true). And then there are the companies that are just middling along, waiting to break through – we have a duty to help them break out – now!
That’s why I aptly titled our upcoming 2nd annual MEMS Industry Group (MIG) workshop with BSAC, on September 19, “MEMS Product Development Challenges – Sweet Dreams and Nightmares.” We have a lot to be proud of in the MEMS industry, but we still have a lot to learn and a lot to improve on in order to grow. We may be a $10B/year industry now; but to get to my dream of “MEMS frickin’ everywhere,” we need to do more.
All year long, MIG’s theme for content and programs has been focused on addressing MEMS product development and commercialization challenges. Our annual technical members meeting, M2M Forum, focused on MEMS new product development and we invited Len Sheynblat of Qualcomm to give a keynote on the real truth about what makes integrating MEMS and sensors into end-use mobile devices so darned hard and complicated: a lack of MEMS standardization. We teased out the differences and nuances between MEMS technology push and market pull; when, what and how it matters and why we should care. We developed a MEMS Technology Development Process Template to help managers navigate the gating process to determine when and if a MEMS device is a GO or NO GO. Additionally, MIG has worked closely with our MIG Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) to ensure the content of our MEMS Education Series webinars is focused on MEMS product development.