3D InCites: Going the Distance in Medical Electronics

Originally posted on 3D InCites’ Francoise in 3D blog
Every once in a while it helps to step back and take a look at the big picture. For me, attending events like this week’s 2010 Medical Electronics Symposium, co-hosted by MEPTEC and SMTA, is one way to do that.  This year’s theme was Successful Strategies for the Medical Electronics Sector, so although 3D and MEMS technologies were addressed in a few of the presentations (I’ll address those in a separate post),  most of them  focused on market opportunities, trends that are shaping the future of device development, and the end-use devices that are driving technology developments.

When Is Less More? Examining Low-Power, High Function MEMS Accelerometer Options

Contributed by Mike Stanley

Originally posted on Freescale’s Smart Mobile Devices Embedded Beat Blog

Back in June and July, we discussed the MMA9550L Xtrinsic Motion Sensing Platform, which breaks new ground in the area of intelligent sensors (see Evolving Intelligence with Sensors and The Zen of Sensor Design).

Because the MMA9550L CPU is fully programmable, it’s a snap to add new features in software. Design cycles can be shortened and you can easily add features that distinguish your product from those of your competitors. But what if you don’t need the flexibility? Or your #1 competitive feature is price? Or power? In these cases, you may not want to pay any premium (no matter how small) for the on-chip MCU and memory that make the MMA9550L so flexible. That’s where the newest members of the Xtrinsic family, the 14-bit MMA8451Q and 12-bit MMA8452Q, come in. These devices, announced this week, utilize the same low-G MEMS transducer as the MMA9550L. But now the MEMS device is coupled with a cost reduced state-machine-based digital controller.

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MIG at the MIG-BSAC Joint Thrust Session

Contributed by Karen Lightman, Managing Director, MEMS Industry Group

What fun I had in Berkeley on September 15 where I was honored to co-host the workshop on “MEMS Commercialization: Launching the Next Innovation-Based Businesses” – co-sponsored by MEMS Industry Group (MIG) and Berkeley Sensor and Actuator Center (BSAC).

The nearly sold-out event was a half-day session, held at the zero-emissions David Brower Center near the UC Berkeley campus.  I was so pleased to see so many MIG members as well as friends in the industry; several who traveled from around the world to attend. I’ll try to capture the flavor of the event here – but I encourage you to check out the video (when we post it; stay tuned) and download the .ppt of the speakers (again, stay tuned).

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A New Handbook on Silicon Based MEMS

Contributed by Markku Tilli, Senior Vice President, Research, Okmetic Oyj

Handbook of Silicon Based MEMS Materials and Technologies was published in April 2010. Altogether 73 leading experts from 12 countries participated to the writing process and the result was nearly 700 pages about materials, modeling, measuring, processes and packaging within silicon based MEMS.

The book project started four years ago when I received a phone call from Professor Veikko Lindroos, Aalto University School of Science and Technology. Veikko Lindroos had been contacted by Nigel Hollingworth from William Andrew Publishing, who proposed writing of a new handbook on MEMS. Professor Lindroos presented the idea to me and we considered thoroughly, if another handbook on MEMS was necessary. And if it was, what would be the focus as the content should differ from other good books on the market. It took a couple of months for us to think and the answer was definitely yes. Handbook of Silicon Based MEMS Materials and Technologies was about to be born.

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3D InCites: Jim Walker’s Crystal Ball

Here is an excerpt of Francoise von Trapp’s  report on MEPTEC and the semiconductor industry:

Ok, maybe I should say Gartner’s crystal ball, but whenever Jim Walker delivers a presentation based on Gartner research, he always interjects his own personal opinion, which in this industry, is a very brave thing to do. I, for one, appreciate that personal touch because if I’m lucky enough to be in the room, I get some nuggets of information that you can’t get just by reviewing the presentation. In any case, at the annual MEPTEC September Forecast Luncheon that took place yesterday here in Mesa, AZ, Walker offered insight on the global economy, how the semiconductor industry has recovered and boomed in the aftermath, and what we can expect next…

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