Karen Lightman, Managing Director, MEMS Industry Group:
Greetings from SEMICON West 2009! I feel like I am at homecoming – seeing so many old friends and colleagues. The best part of SEMICON is seeing new colleagues whom I’ve only “met” via email/phone and now we finally get to meet in person. While the number of exhibit booths and attendees are somewhat down this year as a result of the economic downturn, the level of enthusiasm and excitement about MEMS is at an all-time high.
Yesterday at the July 15 breakfast briefing “Concept to Commercialization” hosted by SVTC, SEMICO’s Jim Feldhan and MEMS legend Kurt Petersen both heralded the new dawn of MEMS technology. Both presenters talked about the importance of collaboration as a key component to innovation. I heartily agree; a major part of MIG’s mission is to promote and encourage collaboration throughout the entire MEMS supply chain.
Petersen stated that he sees a growing trend towards two-chip solutions, stating that “two chips are better than one.” He gave examples of Invensense, SiTime, Discera, Bosch and ADI as companies who are leading this trend. He also predicted that 8” MEMS wafers and fabless MEMS companies will transform the MEMS industry and catapult its growth. He encouraged MEMS companies to look for ways to uniquely configure their products to differentiate themselves from the competition. His “simple answer” is to bundle MEMS devices with as many peripherals with unique and special features.
The breakfast was wrapped up by SVTC CEO Joe Bronson, who highlighted SVTC’s business strategy on “concept to commercialization” and echoed the importance of collaboration. He also announced SVTC’s partnership with the German solar equipment company Roth and Raw; unveiling SVTC’s plan to get into the solar power business and offer many of the same services it does now for MEMS for the solar industry. It’s exciting news – I am very curious to see how things progress… SVTC plans to by fully operational in solar by the first quarter of 2010.
After the SVTC breakfast, it was time for the WORLD PREMIERE of the film MEMS: Making Micro Machines. With standing room only in the SEMI Theater, I had the pleasure of introducing Ruth Carranza, the film’s producer. This film offers a rare close-up of MEMS design, fabrication, testing and packaging; and showcases production at MIG members Freescale and Texas Instruments. It was a pleasure working with Ruth on this collaboration and while yesterday’s event wasn’t the premiere at Sundance that I initially envisioned, it was a pleasure to be at the premiere amongst colleagues and friends. There were many people to thank – including the GREAT MIG members who played a pivotal role in the production and release of this film:
- MEMS Movie Premiere Sponsor – Analog Devices
- Onsite MIG filming hosts: Freescale Semiconductor, Texas Instruments; Hewlett Packard was also a host (though not a MIG member—at least not yet!)
- MIG members who contributed to the film by sending in images and devices for Ruth to film: Coventor, Discera, Omron Electronic Components, Robert Bosch GmbH, Sensonor Technologies AS and
- MIG members who helped fund the movie: Bosch, Freescale
- And lastly, TI’s Mike Mignardi who connected me with Ruth over 18 months ago
MIG is selling the film immediately following the premiere for a members-only price of $225 and a general-public price of $295. To purchase and view the film’s trailer, please visit: http://www.memsindustrygroup.org/memsmovie
And last but definitely not least – last night MIG hosted its HUGELY successful MIG member cocktail party at Azie restaurant. Though the place was densely packed, I was still able to connect with MIG members (old and new!) and met new colleagues as well.
Now I am preparing for my presentation at the quarterly meeting of the Fab Owners Association (FOA). I am looking forward to meeting FOA members and spreading the word about the many benefits to MIG membership. MIG members will be able to see my presentation in our MIG member section shortly – stay tuned!