MIG visits Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan

Contributed by Karen Lightman, Managing Director, MEMS Industry Group

My journey through Japan continued with a trip up to Sendai (which is 96 minutes north of Tokyo by Shinkansen), at the invitation of Professor Esashi-sensai at Tohoku University. Takeo Oita-san of NDK accompanied me at my visit to Sendai.  We were greeted at the station by Katou Hiroyuki –san and Ms. Emi Ooba, both with the Commercialization Support Sub-section, Industrial-Academic Collaboration Promotion Section, Economic Affairs Bureau, Sendai City.  Their focus is to promote Sendai as the “best location” for R&D. Along with their director, Hiroyuki Miyata, I was very humbled and impressed with their hospitality and graciousness. Continue reading

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

MEMS & Sensors for Smartphones Report: When Sensing Comes Right into your Pocket!

Contributed by Laurent Robin, MEMS Market Analyst, Yole Développement

Yole Développement released a new report dedicated to MEMS devices and sensors for smarphones applications: MEMS & Sensors for Smartphones Report. Yole Développement’s report provides market data on MEMS & Sensors for mobile phones: key market metrics & dynamics including unit shipments, revenues and average selling price by type of MEMS & Sensors, market shares with detailed breakdown for each player.

This analysis also presents application focus on key sensors that are changing the mobile phone industry: new features, technical roadmap, insight about future technology trends & challenges. Continue reading

3-axis Gyroscope, the new killer product for cell phones

Contributed by Jérémie Bouchaud, Director & Principal Analyst, MEMS, iSuppli

When a sensor makes it into the cell phone market it can consider itself to be in the “big league.” As iSuppli reports in the news section of this issue, Steve Jobs’ recent announcement of the new Apple iPhone 4G featuring a 3-axis gyroscope is certainly good news for the small pool of suppliers of these devices. And, given its trendsetting nature and the way the company helped establish accelerometers in cell phones, Apple could not be a better champion to establish this device among other phone manufacturers.

This article looks at the reasons why the gyroscope has finally “earned its spurs” for mobile phones, and at the applications that will support its implementation in the coming years. 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?