Peter Clarke, European News Director of EE Times, will talk about the technology and business of Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) components in a recording of the Design News Radio Show from the exhibition floor at DESIGN West conference which takes place March 26 to 29 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, Calif.
In particular Clarke will reference the recently produced "MEMS Sector Database and Report" compiled by EE Times Confidential which analyzes the MEMS landscape and its future directions.
MEMS are manufactured using many of the same techniques as electronic ICs but can fashioned to form a wide variety of sensors and actuators. MEMS are not new – they have been around for almost as long as the IC – but for many years they remained focused industrial and then automotive applications. What has changed is that the consumer electronics industry has surely and steadily latched on to the MEMS sensor, particularly in smartphones and tablet computers, causing an explosion in demand – and also availability for other applications.
That market is reckoned to have been worth about $10 billion in 2011 and is growing at well above the average for electronic ICs. According to the report, the MEMS market may be dwarfed by the $300 billion annual market for ICs but the high growth rate and margins associated with MEMS devices are attracting a number of players to engage with this market. The report points out that the existence of the fabless-foundry business model for producing conventional ICs is also starting to influence and take hold in MEMS although the technical background and challenges are significantly different.
The availability, and lowering pricing, is in terms having a transformational effect on applications. If inertial MEMS is the killer component in mobile consumer equipment what MEMS are coming next in what applications and who are the companies that are going to make a difference?
One of the conclusions of the report is that MEMS are one of the agents-of-change that will transform the consumerization of electronics into its personalization. That will see MEMS components become yet more plentiful and the essential gatekeepers of the interface between the real world and the electronic domain.
The radio program in which Alex Wolfe, editor-in-chief of Design News, interviews Clarke, takes place from 11:00am to 11:45am at the Sensors-in-Design Theater (TH2-06) on Thursday March 29 at the DESIGN West conference March 26 to 29 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, Calif.
MEMS Sector Profile and Database report:
EE Times Confidential MEMS special report can be ordered here.
DESIGN West Conference Information:
DESIGN West comprises seven summits. The conference takes place March
26-29 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, Calif.
DESIGN West main conference
DESIGN West Keynotes
DESIGN West Expo
Embedded Systems Conference
Sensors in Design