MIG at MEMS Technology Summit

Contributed by Karen Lightman, Managing Director, MEMS Industry Group

I had relatively moderate expectations for the MEMS Technology Summit held at Stanford University, October 19-20, 2010. Some of my pre-conceived notions were a bit on the snarky-side so I won’t share them with you – but let’s just say I was expecting some sort of 1980’s reunion/love-fest with a lot of old guys reminiscing about the “good old days.”

Well you heard it here first – I was wrong. In fact, I have to take my hat off to the folks who organized this 25th anniversary of the founding of NovaSensor – namely Roger Grace, Kurt Petersen, Janusz Bryzek, and Joe Mallon, with help from Joe Brown and  conference organizer Bette Cooper from MEPTEC.

Of course, there was a lot of reminiscing about the past and a lot of photos of guys who had a few less pounds and more hair, BUT there were also some impressive presentations from MEMS veterans and “newbies” alike. I won’t list the numerous folks who presented (only one woman, Beth Pruitt, by the way) and keynoted (there were a LOT of keynotes). Instead I will share with you my favorites. No offense to those not named here; I just can’t write a five-page blog in good conscience.

My #1 favorite presenter was without a doubt, DARPA’s Deputy Director, Ken Gabriel. As some of you probably know, Ken is a co-founder of MIG and a dear friend. I’ve known Ken for more than a decade and I’ve heard him speak before. But NOTHING prepared me for the AMAZING job that Ken did. I truly was misty-eyed at the end of his presentation when he gave his keynote “Change.” I know that the entire audience was inspired and amazed by the simplicity and clarity of his message: though change may seem impossible, don’t ever give up, keep at it and your persistence will pay off. “You need to take the chance that you’ll fail miserably – it’s an important part of success.” Amen, brother.

Another highlight was the presentation that Mike Judy gave on behalf of Analog Devices. I especially was heartened by the mention of my old, and dearly missed, colleague, Bob Solouff, one of the founders of the MEMS team at ADI. I also enjoyed hearing from another NovaSensor founder, Steve Nasiri who is gearing up for the IPO of his latest company, InvenSense. I’ve seen variations of the presentation given by Steve, but I am still impressed and look forward to seeing InvenSense make more headway in the CE market with their unique motion sensing “complete package.”

As I’ve mentioned in an earlier blog, I seem to be following SVTC’s CEO Bert Bruggeman as he presents around the country this fall and have had the pleasure of seeing him give the same (or damned similar) presentation at THREE events in the past six weeks. I joked with Bert and Prakash Krishnan that I have formed the unofficial Bert Bruggeman fan club. I am joking. But seriously, I feel obligated to add more to my list of favorite one-liner Bert’isms: “you don’t want a cheapo design,” “you need to go beyond the eureka moment,” “the lucky wafer won’t take you all the way to mass production” and “don’t innovate where you don’t have to innovate; but innovate when you have to.” Thanks Bert – I look forward to the next time I get to hear you present but hopefully it’s a new slide deck.

Lastly, I truly was honored to meet and see the keynote by DLP inventor extraordinaire, Larry Hornbeck, Texas Instruments Fellow, DLP Products. Larry went WAY over his allotted time, but I enjoyed seeing the numerous videos and slides depicting the 20-year journey of the seemingly ubiquitous DLP. I was actually surprised to hear of the initial funding of the DLP research – which was from the US military. It’s not surprising but impressive to see another example of how DARPA has continuously funded programs that have been to the benefit of both military and commercial applications.

Now it’s my turn to gear up for MIG’s signature event, MEMS Executive Congress (www.memscongress.com) November 3-5 in Scottsdale. I hope you’ll join me there – we have an amazing lineup of keynote speakers (just two), panels and attendees. I welcome your blogs, Linked In posts and tweets!

MIG at SVTC’s Boston Workshop – October 14th, 2010

Contributed by Karen Lightman, Managing Director, MEMS Industry Group

It was a great (though long) day flying into Boston to be a guest at the SVTC workshop focusing on the commercialization of innovative semiconductor based technologies.

As prefaced in the invitation “there is an explosion of materials and architecture driven innovation happening in MEMS, micro-fluidics, life sciences, energy harvesting and other disruptive new technologies.” This interactive forum was organized by SVTC to give an inside view to several of these emerging technologies, and how to bring them from idea stage to market entry and beyond.

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Online Discussion: MEMS and 3D IC integration: Synergies in the Supply Chain

Originally posted on 3D InCites
Join 3D InCites and MEMS Industry Group for an online panel discussion, to be hosted on 3D InCites from October 18-22. Topic of discussion: MEMS and 3D IC integration: Synergies in the Supply Chain.

Karen Lightman, of MEMS Industry Group and Francoise von Trapp, of 3D InCites will co-moderate this event. Our panel of experts includes Eric Pabo of EV Group, Ken Grenier of Coventor, Magnus Rimskog of Silex Microsystems, and Salah Uddin of Nanoshift, and a yet-to-be-determined panelist from SPP Technology Process Systems (SPTS).


Much of the manufacturing equipment, processes, modeling and simulation tools, and materials being investigated for 3D IC integration technologies were first developed for MEMS fabrication and packaging. This discussion will examine how advancement of MEMS manufacturing processes help further the advancement of 3D IC and vice-versa.  We will look at synergies in the supply chain and discuss how those can be leveraged to provide cost-effective solutions for MEMS IC integration.


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Invensense IPO will change the competition in the motion sensing business

Contributed by Jean-Christophe Eloy, President & CEO, Yole Développement

Business is there: moving from $300M in 2009 to $1.2B in 2015 only for smart phones…

No doubt that the motion sensing applications are taking full benefit of the availability of low cost and adapted specifications of 3 axis accelerometers, 3 axis gyroscopes and 3 axis digital compass. The total market for such devices (according Yole Développement recent report “MEMS for smart phones 2010”) was $300M last year for mobile phones and will go higher than $1.2b in 2015. In addition to the smart phone and mobile phone applications, you have to add the game consoles, the remote controls, the digital and video cameras… and almost all consumer electronic devices are already or will soon integrate motion sensors.

More complex functions have to be implemented…

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Implantable MEMS Cardiac Device Could Lead to Notable Medical Paradigm Shift

Investment in the CardioMEMS Inc. device by St. Jude Medical is huge

Contributed by Richard Dixon and Jérémie Bouchaud, iSuppli

With the prospect to become one of the biggest deals involving Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) sensors, St. Jude Medical Inc. is investing millions of dollars in an implantable device that can monitor patients after heart surgery, potentially revolutionizing cardiac care, according to market research firm iSuppli Corp.

The device, commercialized by Atlanta, Georgia-based CardioMEMS Inc., features an implantable MEMS pressure sensor that monitors the heart for the tell-tale buildup of pressure in pulmonary arteries following heart surgery. Including signal processing electronics, a user interface and an antenna, the CardioMEMS system wirelessly communicates with the sensor and reports data telemetrically—remotely—to the physician, who then can adjust treatment as necessary. The entire process can take place without hospitalization, yielding huge cost savings for patients and health providers alike.

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