Why MEMS matters

By Karen Lightman, MEMS Industry Group

Originally posted on MicroManufacturing

“Manufacturing matters,” as Bennett Harrison, my graduate advisor at Carnegie Mellon University, used to say. It was a main theme of The Deindustrialization of America, a book he co-authored with Barry Bluestone describing the demise of manufacturing jobs in the United States. Today, as I see it, “MEMS matters”—and not just in the U.S. MEMS manufacturing matters worldwide.

MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) matters because in these insecure economic times, the MEMS industry is a bright spot in manufacturing. MEMS is a $9 billion market, and thanks to increased adoption in consumer and mobile-device applications, the market analysis firm IHS iSuppli projects MEMS will experience double-digit growth annually through 2015, when sales are expected to reach $12.1 billion.

I have been ruminating on this topic a great deal recently because of my interest in the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. The PCAST report on Advanced Manufacturing for the Office of Science and Technology Policy—a report to President Obama on “ensuring American leadership in advanced manufacturing”—was released by the White House in June 2011. That report and Jon Gertner’s Aug. 25, 2011, article in The New York Times, “Does America Need Manufacturing,” have helped focus my attention on why MEMS—and other advanced technologies—matter to America…

Continue reading

Registration now open for MEMS Executive Congress Europe 2012!

March 20, 2012 | Zurich, Switzerland | Hotel Novotel Zurich Airport Messe

MEMS Industry Group is pleased to announce MEMS Executive Congress® Europe. The European edition of MEMS Executive Congress explores the global connection of the MEMS supply chain. This one-day executive event features an opening presentation by MIG Managing Director Karen Lightman, panels, keynote speakers, and a special dinner at ETH Zurich. MEMS Executive Congress Europe is conveniently co-located with Smart Systems Integration 2012.

Featuring Keynote Speakers:

  • Markus Buhlmann, Head of Unit, Chassis Electronics, Vehicle Dynamics/Software, Audi AG
  • Carmelo Papa, Senior Executive Vice President and General Manager, Industrial & Multisegment Sector, STMicroelectronics

Panel Topics:

  • MEMS Enabling Smart Industrial Systems
  • MEMS and the Changing Automobile
  • MEMS and Quality of Life
  • MEMS in Consumer Products
Location & Hotel Information:

Hotel Novotel Zurich Airport Messe
Lindbergh-Platz 1
8152 Glattpark
Zurich, Switzerland
+41 44 829 90 00

Learn More!

MEMS Makes a New Future for Mobile Devices at 2012 CES

MEMS Industry Group Invites Press to First MEMS TechZone, with Akustica, Bosch Sensortec, Freescale Semiconductor, VTI Technologies, WiSpry Co-exhibiting

2012 International CES

Booth #25218

PITTSBURGH–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) devices, miniature, intelligent machines about the thickness of a human hair, are changing the way that consumers interact with mobile electronics. MEMS frees users to toggle between landscape and portrait mode on a mobile handset, gives them the sensation of “turning” a page on an e-reader or tablet PC, immerses them in video game play through more realistic motion capture, and augments their reality as they walk down a city street in search of a good restaurant. Joined by some of its most innovative member-companies, MEMS Industry Group (MIG), invites the media to explore the future of MEMS-enabled functionality at the 2012 International CES® (January 10-13, Las Vegas, NV).

“We are living in a digital world, where the mobile device reigns supreme”

“We are living in a digital world, where the mobile device reigns supreme,” explained Karen Lightman, managing director of MEMS Industry Group. “Consumers cannot seem to get enough features on mobile handsets, tablets, game controllers, television remotes or e-readers. Entertainment and technology are practically synonymous, and we are only just beginning to realize what is possible in consumer electronics. And a whole new class of ‘quality of life’ applications designed to allow people to live healthier, more independent lives for a longer period of time, is emergent. The common enabling intelligence among such diverse applications is MEMS.”

Continue reading

Karen’s Blog from Livingston Securities – Seventh Annual Livingston Nanotechnology Conference

By Karen Lightman, managing director, MEMS Industry Group

There is nothing more magical than seeing the tree at Rockefeller Center at Christmas time. That magic must have worked its way at 30 Rock into the audience of the Seventh Annual Livingston Nanotechnology Conference. There was definitely something in the air (magic nanoparticles?), because there was an amazing energy of optimism and opportunity as nearly 30 nano- and advanced manufacturing startups presented on their companies to an audience of investors.

On December 7, I had the pleasure/honor/delight of presenting to this esteemed audience (of mainly men, I might add, ehem) on behalf of MEMS Industry Group (MIG).  I had a ball and plan to come back every year (and yes, to see that gorgeous tree too – queue the photos I took of that world-famous tree).

Scott Livingston was the MC for the day’s event and he did a stellar job of introducing/networking/commenting/digressing/having a good time to promote his investment philosophy of taking back Wall Street and giving it back to the people (the 99% people). Not to get all occupy-Wall Street on you; but Scott has an important message of how the US investment community DOES NOT currently invest and reward advanced manufacturing (yes it will invest in Groupon and Zynga but not real job-creation, wealth generating industries like MEMS, save a few examples like InvenSense). And the reality is that the US has a competitive advantage in advanced manufacturing in nano and to some extent, micro-technology. The time is now and we can’t afford to blow it.

Continue reading

EE Times’ 20 hot technologies for 2012

Originally posted on EE Times by Nicolas Mokhoff, Peter Clarke, Rick Merritt

12/6/2011 7:00 AM EST

Our picks

What follows is a list of 20 technologies EE Times editors think can bring big changes, and that we will be tracking during 2012.

Given the pace of technological change, limiting our list to 20 topics doesn’t really do the subject justice but in many ways our chosen topics embrace numerous others. Technology does not exist in a vacuum.  Ideas behind each technology are interconnected both conceptually – and sometimes physically – through engineers, consumers, companies, events and market trends.

The significance can sometimes be as simple as how a well-turned phrase catches the essence of a technology sector, such as the way system-on-chip (SoC) replaced application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) as a descriptor, a decade ago. For instance, is today’s “Internet of Things” the same or different from machine-to-machine communications? Whichever buzz phrase we choose, the key is whether the technology will enable products to succeed and markets to grow.

The pictures used with the topics are not necessarily new in 2011 but examples from the past that illustrate why we think these technologies will flourish in the future

Continue reading