Thanks for the kind comments!
@Himanshu_Gupta: MEMS is not limited to smartphones anymore as accelerometers are used on some feature phone platforms as well since several years for pedometer or shake control (to change music tracks...). But this is true that MEMS sensors bring a much higher added value in smartphones when combined with other components (GPS receiver, magnetometer...) and with higher level signal processing.
@iniewski: we still don't see any kind of standardization in MEMS that can be compared to the CMOS world. However it evolves step by step now that some components mature and that volumes are in the range of millions units a day. The largest MEMS IDMs or foundries have MEMS "platforms" that can be seen as internal standards. And for the test side we start to see more and more off the shelf tools or test houses involved in MEMS that are used in replacement of in-house built test equuiopments
Good summary Laurent, I would be interested in reading something longer on this topics that compares various MEMs sensors and actuators...is MEMs growth due to standardization in this area? A few years back every MEMs manufacturer was doing things their own ways...Kris
@Himanshu_Gupta: As with 3D IC's that are on track to find markets in new products (& replacements in older ones), MEMS will make it in to more products but the enabler is really the software applications. As you combine different sensing functions, processing of 'fused' data and adding value from it that the consumer / application needs is really the key. Faster & lower cost fusion of sensory data is best done at the hardware level (similar to hypervisors for a multicore architecture) and I think that is where 3D IC & MEMS in the stack will make sense.
I am working on a draft that will probably hit the EE Times editors late this week that partially answers your questions (based on IMEC's presentation at Semicon).
really good post Laurent. The MEMS market is really finding new applications in the smartphones. Do you know why MEMS are finding place on smartphones only even though the price is low (30 cents or so)?
This is an interesting trend... what began at one end of the spectrum mostly in the military world namely attitude and G-sensing (spinning mass gyro's and varieties of accelerometers) has led to MEMS versions for motion and attitude sensing. Now we are taking a page from robotics to improve gesture control.
The key to making these efficient and consume less power is really sensor fusion thru embedded software applications in an ASIC/micro.