A key issue for sustainability of MEMS manufacturing is currently only aging fabs are being used. If a dedicated new fab were built, the returns may never be enough to justify in the bookkeeping. MEMS would need to be as ubiquitous as microprocessors or memory to justify this level of investment. In turn, that means MEMS production costs need to go down. This vicious cycle may not get off the ground in time.
As the sensors become inexpensive, they should be used in sensors to prevent injuries (and document accidents) in industry and sports, to assist the handicapped, and to augment existing devices. Airbags for football players, autofocus glasses for reading, external airbags on cars, or tactile feedback guidance devices for the blind. We ought to be looking at a broader scope for these technologies. In 20 years we'll be looking back and it will all seem so obvious.
What are the engineering and design challenges in creating successful IoT devices? These devices are usually small, resource-constrained electronics designed to sense, collect, send, and/or interpret data. Some of the devices need to be smart enough to act upon data in real time, 24/7. Are the design challenges the same as with embedded systems, but with a little developer- and IT-skills added in? What do engineers need to know? Rick Merritt talks with two experts about the tools and best options for designing IoT devices in 2016. Specifically the guests will discuss sensors, security, and lessons from IoT deployments.