MEMS industry execs see convergence in several markets

November 16, 2009–Industry executives attending the annual MEMS Executive Congress last week in Sonoma, CA were buoyed by optimistic forecasts for MEMS devices, such as accelerometers and multi-axis gyros—increasingly used in mobile handsets and video games. Presentations and panel discussions included leading innovators in automotive, bio/medical, consumer electronics, mobile communications and energy.

Karen Lightman, managing director of MEMS Industry Group, the event’s host organization, said record-breaking attendance was, “In part it’s because we are experiencing a technology convergence in MEMS: sensors made for automobiles—extremely complex systems requiring the highest levels of safety and reliability—are being used for healthcare devices, such as heart monitors and 3D motion tracking."

Lightman added, "MEMS-based energy harvesters are being utilized in consumer and industrial systems, and they may one day be used in more energy-efficient, even all-electric, automobiles. And, with MEMS sensors opening up greater data collection, we will one day see things we haven’t even imagined in applications such as mobile phones.”

Highlights of the Congress included:

* Keynote by Dr. Shoichi Narahashi, executive research engineer, NTT DOCOMO Research Laboratories, on the cause-effect relationship between burgeoning multimedia services and requirements for future mobile terminals;

* Keynote by Dr. Mauro Ferrari on applications of nanotechnology in cancer detection and treatment, regenerative medicine, cardiovascular medicine and infectious diseases;

* An Automotive Panel debating the criticality of MEMS in controlling safety, efficiency and emissions—and predicting the eventual winner between hybrid-electric Vs all-electric vehicles;

* A Bio/medical Panel exhorting MEMS device makers to help them leverage sensors already proven for safety and reliability in automotive for a host of healthcare applications;

* An Energy Panel on the importance of MEMS in energy harvesting, especially in infrastructure installations in which cost reductions are paramount;

* A Consumer Electronics Panel citing the most important factor for MEMS in CE apps: it’s all about the cost.

* A Market Analyst Panel in which experts assessed the state of MEMS in 2009 and forecast emergent and resurgent growth areas in 2010 and beyond.

Next year’s MEMS Executive Congress will be held November 3-5, 2010 at the InterContinental Montelucia in Scottsdale, AZ. For more information, visit  www.memscongress.com

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