MIG at Exhibition MEMS/Micromachine 2010

Contributed by Karen Lightman, Managing Director, MEMS Industry Group

It was my second time in Japan, and this year I was again fortunate enough to attend Exhibition Micromachine/MEMS. This year I put on my “exhibitor cap” and manned the MIG booth – I’m not a big fan of standing around a booth (as anyone who knows me) – so I was very “un-Japanese” and abandoned my booth a lot. It’s way more fun and interesting and entertaining to roam the hall floor and meet/greet new and potentially new MIG members. Thankfully I was parked near the IVAM booth, so my colleagues at IVAM not only supplied me with endless bags of gummy bears, but also had the courtesy to explain where I was. Thank you, Uwe Kleinkes and your staff! Continue reading

Will MEMS standards help you earn more customers?

Contributed by Monica Takacs, Director of Marketing & Membership, MEMS Industry Group

Last week during SEMICON West, MIG staff and members, EV Group, Acuity Incorporated, and NIST attended the SEMI MEMS standards task force and committee meeting at the Marriott Marquis. This was my first time attending a SEMI standards meeting and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Standards have always been such a controversial subject at MEMS Industry Group meetings. My impression of the general consensus of our members’ view of MEMS standards is that standards may benefit the industry, but no company wants to implement standards if it means that they lose competitive advantage.

SEMI (www.semi.org/standards) has been working hard in development standards for MEMS reliability, microfluidics, micro tubes, materials characterization, wafer bonding, and terminology. They already have a list of published standards for sale. MIG encourages its members to get involved and join the conversation.

This is my forth year attending SEMICON West and each year there seems to be more emphasis on the enabling capabilities of MEMS and less explaining the definition of MEMS. As the MEMS Industry matures, standards are becoming inevitable. MIG’s charter is to advance the global MEMS market, and as an industry group we feel like the conversation about MEMS standards is very important. Standards may demonstrate the maturity of the MEMS industry by proving the reliability of MEMS to new customers in existing and new industries, thus expanding its reach to systems integrators.

What do you think about MEMS standards? Are MEMS standards important to your customers?

MIG at SEMICON WEST 2010 – Day Two

Contributed by Karen Lightman, Managing Director, MEMS Industry Group

Day two at SEMICON West started off with a BANG – thanks to the impressive breakfast hosted by Pennwell Electronics Media Group at the oh-so-swanky St. Regis. The program featured several impressive speakers: Pete Singer, editorial director
of PennWell’s Electronics Media Group
 who presented “Technology Trends in Semiconductor, Packaging & Solar Industries.” Pete’s nice overview was followed by Bill McClean, president 
of IC Insights, who gave an overall presentation on the economic outlook for the semiconductor industry. But the piece de resistance was Andrew Thompson, the co-founder and CEO of Proteus (MIG member company) who gave a fantastic keynote on 
”Emerging Applications in the Field of Medicine.” Thompson gave one of the best keynotes I’ve heard in a really long time – he eloquently and simply laid out a story on the consumerization/democratization of healthcare. Bravo – well done. Continue reading

MIG at SEMICON WEST 2010 – Day One

Contributed by Karen Lightman, Managing Director, MEMS Industry Group

“Happy days are here again” is probably too rosy of a theme song for this year’s SEMICON West show, but it sure felt a lot different than last year’s. While overall attendance was higher than SEMI has seen in a while(if you include the mob scene over at the Solar show in Moscone West), I’d say that there were less exhibitors than I saw in 2008 (perhaps this is because many folks had to confirm their 2010 spots during the still-recessionary times of the summer of 2009?). Continue reading

Sensors Expo 2010 – Day 1

Contributed by Karen Lightman, managing director, MEMS Industry Group

What a delight it was to be in to Chicago for Sensors Expo 2010 at Rosemont Convention Center. I spent my first day attending the MEMS pre-conference symposium hosted by Roger Grace. The opening keynote for the MEMS symposium was Professor Thomas Gessner from Fraunhofer Research Institute for Electronic Nano Systems (IENS) in Germany. He focused his keynote on the main topic of the day: MEMS integration. In lieu of talking about high volume applications, Professor Gessner spoke of on-chip integration in lower volume for smaller sized customers (their niche). He also touched upon NEMS and a new generation of pressure sensors, as well as nanostructured multi layers using wafer bonding technology. He ended his presentation by discussing the energy harvesting capabilities of IENS’ devices. I will definitely stay tuned. Continue reading