There are reports this week that GE will license a potentially disruptive mechanical switch implemented at MEMS scale for RF applications in mobile systems; http://gigaom.com/2014/03/18/ge-says-micro-machinery-is-the-key-to-more-efficient-smartphones-and-faster-4g-connections/
This might open a path to new players (even from China).
@matt, thanks for the info. Yes, that's interesting.
But the reason why Chinese companies are still in a catch-up mode is not necessarily the lack of technology. They can always license the technology from companies they think as their right partners. The issue is if the Chinese startups have enough stamina and patience to bring the technology to commercial products.
Chinese people are known for their produce-abilities, if one manufacturing line gets succeeded then Chinese entrepreneurs will flood their market with MEMS of different categories. Yes the first design and manufacturing like is quite complicated.
Also the concept of MEMS Hub is very much essential in the interface-ability of MEMS and this concept will shorten the adaptability of the particular MEMS in existing designs.
Most of the microcontroller/sensors manufacturers are providing this support like TI, Freescale, Atmel etc. but cross manufacturer clubbing of various sensors is still a tough job for developers, although the open source hardware initiatives are adding a lot in this matter, but still these kind of hubs are essentially required.
Agreed, Kinnar. So, in order to make what you described as "cross manufacturer clubbing of various sensors" possible, what does the industry exactly need to do? Or exactly what are still missing before we can make that happen?
One initiative of such kind is promotion of open source hardware and that is already started with a very good support from semiconductor giants like TI, but at the same time if companies collaborate more for proven sensors interfaces with controllers that will help designer to come with fast prototypes. Single company solutions like CapSense from Cypress Semiconductor is a well known example of a sensor interfacing solution, this kind of cross company solutions will be welcomed by the developers.