Last week, MEMS Industry Group held its annual members meeting, M2M (Member-to-Member) Forum at the Doubletree San Jose Hotel. Not only did we change the name of the event to better represent the purpose of the meeting, idea exchange among members, we celebrated a milestone of which we are very proud. MIG is 10 years old!
To mark the occasion, we treated attendees of our MEMS Testing Standards Workshop, M2M Forum, and members of the Bay Area MEMS Meetup Group to cake, cocktails, and a very special keynote address by Gary O’Brien, Ph.D., Director, Advanced MEMS Design Group, Corporate Research, Robert Bosch LLC. Everyone in attendance also got a MEMS Industry Group commemorative t-shirt!
We also announced the first class of inductees into the MIG Hall of Fame. These individuals have been influential on MIG and the MEMS industry during our first 10 years. Congratulations to our first inductees:
• Cleo Cabuz, Ph.D., Chief Technology Officer, Honeywell
• Kaigham Gabriel, Ph.D., Deputy Director, DARPA/MTO
• Michael Mignardi, Ph.D., Manager, Energy Harvesting, Texas Instruments
• Harvey C. Nathanson, Ph.D., Chief Scientist Emeritus Micro-System Enablers, Northrop Grumman
But, we weren’t in San Jose just to party. We were there to do what MEMS Industry Group does best; connect the MEMS supply chain! In attendance at M2M Forum were suppliers, device manufacturers, and OEM customers. The day kicked off with a panel discussion on strategies to decrease cost and increase efficiency of MEMS test. Eric Lautenschlager from Knowles moderated the panel of MEMS technologists and businessmen, each with a unique experience with MEMS test. Panelists included Tom Di Stefano, Centipede Systems; Rob O’Reilly, Analog Devices; Sascha Revel, ACUTRONIC; and Jeff Sather, Cymbet.
Following the panel, we broke into working groups on system-level test, test innovation, and standards. Our working group moderators, Mike Gaitan, NIST; Jim Knutti, Acuity Incorporated; Eric Levy-Myers; Mike Mignardi, Texas Instruments; Magnus Rimskog, Silex Microsystems; and Carolyn White, AM Fitzgerald & Associates, did a great job facilitating the conversation and attendees spoke frankly about their challenges with MEMS test.
Some takeaways from the event were:
• In general current test strategies are like chasing after a moving target. As MEMS device production reaches higher volumes levels, testing becomes even more burdensome.
• Currently, customers specify individual requirements for test. Manufacturers provide different sets of tests for each customer and customers currently do not have a way to set of standard tests to compare different supplier components. The customer is the one who is going to drive testing standards. A standard set of tests, including unit of measurement, to be able to compare component suppliers would greatly benefit the consumer of MEMS. The industry needs common spec sheets and to share best known practices.
• The industry needs to improve communication/education throughout the MEMS supply chain – especially to end-users (purchasing agents)
• Test equipment qualification/characterization methods need to be improved.
So what’s the next step? MIG is adding all the preliminary research and working group presentations to the online resource library, available to all members. We’ll also kick off a steering committee to talk about which projects we should work on during the year. Members, look out for an invitation in your email box.
Don’t forget to check out our photos from the event! You might see someone you know.