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Who’s Driving the MEMS Evolution Revolution Now? (Part 3 of 3)

Who’s Driving the MEMS Evolution Revolution Now? (Part 3 of 3)

It is my pleasure to present the conclusion of the guest blog trilogy on the MEMS Evolution Revolution, written by my colleague, and long-time MEMS industry insider, Howard Wisniowski.  So far in this series, Howard has taken us with him to "visit" member companies Qualtré and WiSpry, taught us about bulk acoustic wave (BAW) solid state MEMS gyroscopes, radio frequency (RF) MEMS, and an innovative application called "Tunable Antennae."  In part three, we will be introduced to one of the many new MEMS-based technologies coming to the forefront, MEMS timing devices.  We will also take a look at Sand 9, another start up and MIG member that has developed a truly disruptive timing device.

I hope you are as excited as I was to read this the final installment to the series, and I welcome you share your stories of other MEMS start ups that are breaking out in their own markets.  Whether it be in agriculture or acoustics, healthcare or helicopters,  MEMS truly is everywhere and it’s likely the innovative smaller companies who will spread it further, faster and for longer.  Viva la Revolution!

Who’s Driving the MEMS Evolution Revolution Now?
Part 3
Howard Wisniowski, Freelance Editor

Although MEMS inertial sensors received most of the attention during the first and second waves of MEMS technology adoption in the 1990s and 2000s, many new MEMS-based technologies are going to be taking center stage during the current decade. Micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) timing devices are one good example.

MEMS Oscillators

MEMS-based oscillators are an emerging class of highly miniaturized, batch manufacturable timing devices that are more rugged, use less power and are more immune to electromagnetic interference than the well-established quartz-based oscillators. They also play an important role by enabling synchronicity and stable operation in complex electronic devices, from smartphones and tablets to industrial test and measurement systems and communications infrastructure equipment — for applications such as ethernet timing, network timing and cellular base stations. Users not only benefit from better performance in smaller geometries, these MEMS timing products can be integrated / co-packaged with standard semiconductor IC’s to enhance performance, simplify end system design, and optimize board real estate.

Sand 9 (Cambridge, MA), another startup and MIG member, has developed a MEMS timing-device platform that is truly disruptive. The company’s technology is the industry’s first to achieve the stringent phase noise and short-term stability performance requirements for wireless and wired applications where mobile devices are susceptible to malfunctions when a device is dropped and the quartz is dislodged. The spurious-free resonator design – which can enhance network efficiency due to reduced packet loss – can also result in fewer dropped calls. Mobile devices also can easily lose GPS lock and may drop calls due to the limitations of quartz. Also being addressed are earlier MEMS challenges including high power consumption, large phase noise, strong jitter, frequency jumps and strong spurious output. While previous solutions were OK for low-end timing solutions, they are less acceptable for precision timing requirements of 3G, 4G or GPS applications. Sand 9’s spurious-free resonator design can enhance network efficiency due to reduced packet loss – resulting in fewer dropped calls. Combined with high immunity to noise, shock and lead-free reflow temperatures, the Sand 9 high-precision platform also addresses temperature compensated crystal oscillator (TCXO) weaknesses that system designers have been forced to work around for decades.

From a process innovation standpoint, Sand 9 is developing piezoelectric MEMS products which are roughly 100x more efficient at converting electrical energy to mechanical and back to electrical energy again than electrostatic. This means better performance in smaller geometries while improving quality (no moving plates = no stiction). These developments are aimed at overcoming disadvantages of quartz-based devices that include manufacturing cost, longer procurement times, scalability and susceptibility to shock damage.

Industry watchers and analysts have taken notice. According to Semico Research, the MEMS oscillator market is still at a nascent stage, representing less than one percent of the total timing market of $6.3 billion.  By offering drop-in replacement – and technical benefits over established silicon quartz crystal timing devices – MEMS companies have already begun to capture market share from the legacy suppliers: quartz crystal manufacturers. According to their estimates, the global market for MEMS oscillators was $21.4 million in 2010 and is expected to reach $312 million by 2014, with consumer products representing nearly half of the market. With disruptive MEMS technologies like MEMS oscillators getting traction, the third wave of MEMS adoption is off and running.  

Who’s Driving the MEMS Evolution Revolution? (Part 2 of 3)

I am pleased to bring you the second part of a three part series on the MEMS Evolution Revolution, written by my colleague, and long-time MEMS industry insider, Howard Wisniowski.  So far in this series, Howard has taken us with him to "visit" member company  Qualtré, and taught us about bulk acoustic wave (BAW) solid state MEMS gyroscopes.  In part 2, we will begin to learn about radio frequency (RF) MEMS, an innovative application called "Tunable Antennae," and a start up who is pioneering the advances of this new technology.

I hope you are as excited as I am to read this series, and I welcome you share your stories of other MEMS startups that are breaking out in their own markets, whether it be in agriculture or acoustics; healthcare or helicopters. MEMS truly is everywhere and it’s likely the innovative smaller companies who will spread it further, faster and for longer. Viva la Revolution!

Who’s Driving the MEMS Evolution Revolution Now?

Part 2 of 3
Howard Wisniowski, Freelance Editor
What’s most exciting about MEMS technology is watching how it is evolving. As a participant in the MEMS industry for over 15 years, I have witnessed much of the evolution and revolution take place. In Part 1, I highlighted an innovative and disruptive inertial MEMS technology referred to as bulk acoustic wave (BAW) technology. This new class of solid state stationary gyroscopes is opening up many new application possibilities by being able to meet the performance, size, cost, and reliability requirements for many emerging MEMS inertial sensor applications.

Part 2 focuses on radio frequency (RF) MEMS and a very innovative and disruptive application referred to as tunable antennae. It is hard to believe that one of the most important parts of a mobile phone is the antennae, which is very low-tech. With today’s smartphones that incorporate very sophisticated technology from gazillion-transistor CPUs controlling everything to state-of-the-art retina display on the front ends, the antennae for GSM, LTE, WiFi, and Bluetooth, are simply pieces of metal.

We all can recall when devout iPhone followers were outraged by the fact that an Apple device could be defeated when water-filled, fleshy fingers touched the metal antenna, it attenuated (weakened) the signal and resulted in dropped calls. The fact of the matter is that every smartphone has similar issues. Fortunately, for every mobile device maker, there’s an alternative to normal antennae: RF MEMS.

RF MEMS, as the name suggests, are semiconductor chips that can alter their physical (mechanical) state with the application of movable structures. When applied to an antenna, RF MEMS can be used to make antennae that automatically tune and re-tune themselves to both incoming and outgoing signals. For example, if one should put a finger on an RF MEMS antenna it can automatically re-tune itself so that no calls are dropped. What’s more, this is an emerging application where IHS iSuppli has reported that sales of RF MEMS devices are could reach $150 million by 2015.

RF MEMS Antenna Tuners

At WiSpry, a start up in Irvine, CA and another MIG member, they are pioneering advances in the field of tunable RF technology and addressing the emerging needs of modern smartphones.  Today’s smartphones have a number of radios to deal with — GSM, 3G, CDMA, W-CDMA, LTE, Bluetooth, WiFi, and even FM and TV radios in some cases. Each one has its own silicon circuitry and usually its own antenna too. Additionally, there are now a burgeoning number of frequency bands needing to be supported for 4G LTE cellular – ranging today from 700 Mhz to around 3700 Mhz. What’s more, the 3GPP standards are now allowing more than 43 different frequencies and there is an emerging demand for "Carrier Aggregation" in LTE – Advanced, the newest set of standards, which will have simultaneous "aggregation" of multiple frequencies on a single phone, allowing huge bandwidth improvements.

WiSpry’s RF MEMS-based antenna tuner technology will play pivotal roles in these advancements by potentially enabling devices with just a single antenna and transceiver. By reducing the number of necessary components in a handset while allowing the radio front-end to be programmed to work in any frequency band and with any radio standard using the same set of hardware, a "World-Phone" architecture is possible and truly disruptive. Finally, thanks to MEMS, the antennae on mobile devices will actually function more efficiently as they were initially intended – to carry and convey data and yes, even your phone calls.

Who’s Driving The MEMS Evolution Revolution – Part 1 of 3

I am pleased to bring you part one of a three part series on the MEMS Evolution Revolution, written by my colleague, and long-time MEMS industry insider, Howard Wisniowski.  Howard takes us with him to "visit" three exciting MEMS startups that are breaking new ground in the mobile/consumer market.  In part one, we learn about bulk acoustic wave (BAW) solid state MEMS gyroscopes and meet MIG member company Qualtré.  In parts two and three, we journey to find out what companies are driving the MEMS evolution revolution with their exciting nascent disruptive technologies.  I hope you are as excited as I am to read this series and I welcome you share your stories of other MEMS startups that are breaking out in their own markets, whether it be in agriculture or acoustics; healthcare or helicopters.  MEMS truly is everywhere and it’s likely the innovative smaller companies who will spread it further, faster and for longer.  Viva la Revolution!

Who’s Driving the MEMS Evolution Revolution Now?
Part 1
Howard Wisniowski, Freelance Editor

Like the transistor and the microprocessor, MEMS are often described as a disruptive technology, as in change-the-world, turn-it-upside-down, rewrite-the-rules-of-the-game. You can forget about this kind of incremental change, however, fitting easily into corporate business plans. Few, if any, roadmap processes are available to accommodate new innovative disruptive technologies that either have the potential to radically change the way products are currently being produced or are the foundation for products that might create entirely new industries, nascent disruptive technologies. Within many established corporate environments, roadmaps all too often focus on sustaining existing technologies with a mature sales base and use variations of tried and true processes that exist in their fabs. Start-ups don’t have these types of investments enabling them to build on the shoulders of their predecessors and develop products that take a fresh look at what benefits product design engineers are seeking for new and existing end applications.
Today on the "revolution" side, the demand for MEMS technology is still booming, thanks to not only to the continued growth of high volume automotive and consumer applications where MEMS sensors have become mainstream, but also to the continued development of emerging applications in robotics, energy harvesting, and healthcare. On the "evolution" side, however, there are even more exciting and disruptive things going on with MEMS technology that is poised to drive the next wave of MEMS enabled products and applications. There are hundreds of companies, universities, and thousands of researchers around the globe working on MEMS projects. Many have the underlying technology that is well beyond the laboratory, ready for deployment, and are now seeking funding.
Highlighting this very active sector, Yole Development reports on the continuing growth of emerging MEMS products and applications. Alongside many of the old timers, their reports cite as many as 50 startups designing emerging MEMS devices that have the possibility to ramp up to large volumes quickly with growing access to contract foundries.  
Within this large field, several new “disruptive” MEMS devices will be highlighted in this three part series beginning with bulk acoustic wave (BAW) MEMS technology. This new and disruptive MEMS technology is now being applied to innovative MEMS gyroscopes. 
Bulk acoustic wave (BAW) solid state MEMS gyroscopes
According to analysts at IHS iSuppli, the MEMS gyroscope market displaced accelerometers as the revenue champion in consumer and mobile MEMS applications when revenue grew 66 percent from $394 million in 2010 to $655 million in 2011. While engineers now design systems that include MEMS gyros as essential components, particularly designers of mobile devices, suppliers are scrambling to meet their needs for low power, small size and low cost.
Qualtré, Inc. (Marlborough, MA) is one MEMS start-up and MIG member that is addressing these issues with an innovative MEMS technology referred to as bulk acoustic wave (BAW) technology. BAW technology is now being used to pioneer a new class of solid state stationary gyroscopes that not only meet power, size and cost requirements, but also add high performance to the mix. Unlike older MEMS gyro technologies that use moving masses vibrating at low frequency range of 5 to 50 kHz (I don’t want to get too technical here), BAW MEMS gyros operate in the megahertz frequency range (1â????10MHz), several orders of magnitude higher. This is enabled by the very stiff nature of the BAW technology. This stiffness not only results in MEMS gyros that are insensitive to vibration in the environment but also prevents stiction both in manufacturing and during operation in the field, thusremoving a major yield and reliability problem found with the vast majority of other MEMS devices. These features results in improved performance in real world applications where vibrations are present and degrade the operation of current gyros.
By combining these performance advantages of the BAW sensor design and the scalability of Qualtré’s proprietary HARPSS process (High Aspect-­Ratio Combined Poly and Single-­Crystal Silicon), BAW MEMS gyros have also demonstrated very stable signals (aka low drift) which is important for pedestrian navigation, improved noise density for better resolution and more accurate measurements, and a wider dynamic range that expands detectable signals. This kind of innovation is what will drive the next wave of end-product product designs for new and existing applications.

Karen’s blog from MEMS Executive Congress: Part 2

I last left you hanging, waiting to hear more about the heated conversations between the panelists and the audience – and I have to tell you, it really started heating up in the audience during the energy panel. Oooh baby, it was jumping.

MEMS Executive Congress Europe 2013MEMS in energy can mean a lot of things – and our panelists diverse perspectives discussed a great deal, but the majority of the audience wanted to focus on the topic of MEMS in energy harvesting. Though not necessarily experts in this field, thankfully our panelists were up to the challenge. Our moderator was Bert Gyselinckx, General Manager, Holst Centre, imec; Wim C. Sinke, Program Development Manager, Solar Energy, Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands; Eric Yeatman, Professor of Microengineering, Deputy Head of Department, Imperial College London; and Harry Zervos, Senior Technology Analyst, IDTechEx. I actually should probably add Rob Andosca of MicroGen Systems as a fifth panelist as he was eager to ask and answer any question from the audience with his BOLT energy harvester in hand.

I loved the diversity of perspective on this panel –Wim for example does not have an entirely MEMS-centric background. His expertise is in solar and photovoltaic energy and he spoke of how multiple technologies will work together to make reliable and sustainable energy system, as well as the importance of portfolio management – combining different energies in an active way to make it work. We in MEMS could learn a lot from guys like Wim (I hope everyone picked up his business card; I know I did).

The panel also spoke about wireless sensor networks and Harry gave a great overview of the three technologies that are converging: 1. Microgenerators and energy storage (vibration, solar, heat, tree resin, etc.); 2. Ultra low-power electronics (currently being developed) – helping power sensors; and 3. Transmission protocols that don’t need a lot of power to send data. Eric followed up with the poignant view that until things become truly wireless, you can’t really have wireless sensor networks. And once they are wireless how will they be powered – by energy harvesting or battery? This opened the floodgates and I, with microphone in hand had to jog all over the audience to capture the comments and follow-up questions from the audience.

Let me be diplomatic and say that there is no clear consensus out there on MEMS energy harvesting. And out came the very clever quotes including some of my favorites including this one from Wim: "Don’t look at MEMS as the energy harvesters, MEMS are the enablers to help realize energy savings." And this one from someone (maybe you’ll remember and leave a comment here): "I’m happy to hear everyone in MEMS talking about energy, but I can assure you that not everyone in energy is talking about MEMS…yet." And Bert’s: "MEMS will probably not be main source of energy replacing nuclear power plants soon; but MEMS will enable increased intelligence in energy applications." As great as these sound bytes were, the show stealer came when Rob Andosca stood up and talked about how cows are being used for energy harvesting and gave us the best quote: "You power the Moo-mometer with MEMS because cows get dirty." Tech-Eye reporter Tamlin Magee loved that one, too, and plans to write a story on – perhaps cow-power is the next big thing!

MEMS Executive Congress Europe 2013The last panel of the day before the closing keynote was MEMS in medical with a focus on aging moderated by Frank Bartels, Founder (Bartels Mikrotechnik), President (IVAM). Panelists were:  Heribert Baldus, Principal Scientist – Personal Health Solutions, Philips Research; Jérémie Bouchaud, Senior Principal Analyst, MEMS and Sensors, IHS iSuppli; Kimmo Saarela, CEO, TreLab Oy; and Axel Sigmund, National Contact Point MTI/DW and Ambient Assisted Living Joint Programme, VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH. This was another diverse panel with varying views on how to address the medical and healthcare issues of the world’s aging population.

 When asked how MEMS is enabling a better quality of life with regard to prevention, monitoring, management, replacement and rehab I think Kimmo summed it up best when he said that with MEMS we can put so many things into a small form factor, which entices people to use our products. MEMS sensors allow us to collect raw data from so many sources. Data analysis is the key benefit and is their "value add" to the customer. But the key thing here is that power consumption and size really matter. Heribert added that MEMS is enabling an aging population to detect issues in their daily lives and manage their lives. I like to say it gives them their dignity back – and that is no trivial thing.

Jérémie spoke of some of the mass markets already present for MEMS in aging including sleep apnea disorders and oxygen therapy. There are also mass markets for MEMS medical applications that are in the hospital (not yet in the home) including disposable blood pressure monitors as well as dialysis and drug infusion applications. This kicked off a discussion about an aging population living at home which is becoming more of a critical issue in Europe, and a main focus of what Axel is addressing at VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik.

At the close, the panelists were asked what they saw as the future of medical – Heribert said he’d like to see more sensor integration, more intelligence and far less power. Jérémie said he sees a future for gas sensors analyzing the breath (and will not require FDA approval). Axel sees non-invasive diabetes monitoring as having the biggest impact; while Kimmo echoed Heribert and sees a future of more integrated solutions where biometric sensors will give more data and aid early detection and intervention. Frank agreed with Jérémie that gas sensors will be next once the pump issue is solved and that the time for microfluidics is near.

This final panel set things up perfectly for our closing keynote, Renzo dal Molin, Advanced Research Director, Cardiac Rhythm Management business unit, SORIN GROUP. Renzo gave the presentation "Vision for Implanted Medical Devices Healthcare Solutions and Technical Challenges," which outlined the opportunity for implantable medical devices. He described in detail how
MEMS Executive Congress Europe 2013
the next generation of medical devices will come from miniaturization of devices, reduction of power consumption, and wireless capability and yes, even spoke of energy harvesting (you can guess whose ears perked at that statement). Renzo then highlighted how the BioMEMS market is expected to grow from $1.9 B in 2012 to $6.6 B in 2018 thanks to the inclusion of accelerometers in pacemakers and homecare monitors; MEMS sensors for glucose meter connected to smartphones; MEMS microphones for hearing aids as well as MEMS insulin pumps.

The audience was excited to discuss where Renzo saw the future of BioMEMS going, and where he felt the industry should focus moving forward. Renzo agreed that in the near future (once regulatory hurdles were overcome) patients will be able to monitor their implantable devices on their mobile devices. And he felt the next big thing will be biomarkers, as well as MEMS-enabled devices that could give an ECG will be revolutionary to the medical field.

MEMS Executive Congress Europe 2013And with that it was time to break and enjoy a fantastic evening at the Heineken Experience. We took some photographs throughout the day but by far my favorites are the ones we took at the brewery – you should definitely check them out. I would like to close this mega-long blog by thanking everyone who made this second-year MEMS Executive Congress Europe a great success from my fabulous MIG Team, to the MIG Governing Council, to the Congress EU Steering Committee, to the AMAZING sponsors (especially those top tier ones who are sponsoring all year long – we love you), the keynotes, the speakers, the attendees (especially the press who attended and those who have posted great stories – hooray!), our fantastic conference organizers at PMMI, and our sister conference folks at Smart Systems Integration. THANK YOU ALL.

Karen’s blog from MEMS Executive Congress: Part 1

There were many things that impressed me from hosting the second MEMS Executive Congress Europe – and it wasn’t the cold and snow (though it was chilly!). What struck me the most was how lively, engaged and intelligent the conversations were, not amongst the panelists but between the audience and the panelists. Often, Europeans can be conservative and reserved in conferences, but not this year In fact my favorite quote from one of the panelists was: "when I agreed to this join this panel I didn’t know I would be joining a religious war."

MEMS Executive Congress Europe 2013The morning definitely didn’t start off with an aggressive tone as the elegant Ralf Schnupp, Vice President Segment Occupant Safety & Inertial Sensors, Continental served as our keynote. He focused his discussion on future trends in automotive with an overview of the megatrends affecting: safe mobility, clean power, intelligent driving, global mobility and most importantly, safety, with a goal of zero fatalities and accidents (WOW). He spoke of the challenges of complex sensor systems as well as the requirements of such systems. What stuck with me was his statement that "we don’t need more sensors, we need more robust, secure and safe MEMS/sensors." For sensors I think he’s onto something (because it’s about the smart sensor integration and the software); although when I tried out that theory later that week at our sister-conference, Smart Systems Integration, I was completely shot down (ha!).

MEMS Executive Congress Europe 2013After Schnupp’s keynote came the consumer panel moderated very capably by Dave Thomas, Marketing Director, Etch Products, SPTS Technologies. Panelists included: Paul Buijs, General Manager, Bruco Integrated Circuits bv; Robin Heydon, Global Standards – Research and Innovation Group, CSR; and Joel Huloux, Director – Standardization and Industry Alliances, STMicroelectronics. You can probably tell from two of the four titles that the panel talked A LOT about standardization. And, yes, that was by design, as it’s an important topic that the MEMS industry has been working on and partnering with groups like MIPI Alliance (which Joel chairs).

Joel brought a good perspective to the panel because he’s not a MEMS guy; he’s really an OEM/end-user that having spent over a decade with handset company Erikson (I want to say 20 years but don’t quote me) and is now with ST, because of the ST/Erickson joint venture. He said that MIPI aims to create specifications for mobile interfaces and recently became interested in MEMS (and joined an important partnership with MEMS Industry Group) because mobile devices add at least two new MEMS each year. True, but the question remains, what are you going to standardize? And with that question, thus opened a little bit of the holy war amongst the panel and the audience. Clearly it’s an important hot button issue.

When asked about the future of consumer electronics, the panelists all felt that its market strength would continue. Robin felt the most important impact on the world would be the Internet of things as well antenna switching (he does work for CSR after all). He also felt that the next move would be towards peripherals such as the smart watch – while Paul envisioned a future where we’d all have a “doctor in a watch” as the next killer app, enabled by MEMS.

MEMS Executive Congress Europe 2013Next up was the automotive panel moderated ably by Marc Osajda, Director, Pressure Sensor Business Unit, Freescale Semiconductor – Germany. With panelists: Frédéric Breussin, Business Unit Manager, MEMS & Sensors, Yole Développement; Pietro Perlo, Vice President Torino E-District, Interactive Fully Electrical Vehicles; and Jan Peter Stadler, Senior Vice President of Engineering Sensors, Automotive Electronics Division, Robert Bosch GmbH. What surprised me about this panel is how quickly the panelists started talking about electric bicycles (e-bikes). I actually had to check with Ralph Schnupp, who was sitting next to me, to confirm that was indeed what Pietro had started the panelists discussing.

Marc quickly moved them back to automotive and it was actually quite comical to watch – Pietro and Jan Peter were sort of like the odd couple – both representing opposite sides of the spectrum of automotive. While Pietro focused on totally electric vehicles (including bikes!), Jan Peter averred that the automobile would evolve, but even by 2020 the majority of cars will still be run by combustible engines. Frédéric was well placed as a market analyst to give perspective on current uses of MEMS and sensors in applications such as night vision, heads up displays as well as efforts to reduce emissions, increase comfort and increase safety. What was also clear from all the panelists was that the consumer world is driving more and more of the automotive world; which is good for technology, but bad for pricing.

The best part of the panel was when Marc asked each panelist to describe what his car would look like in 2025. Frédéric said he’d finally give in and buy a hybrid, Jan-Peter said he wasn’t sure what kind of engine but he’d definitely want a car big enough to hold the wine he’d drive back from Romania and carry his e-bike to all the places he likes to use them (in the mountains). Lastly, Pietro stole the show when he said he’d be using a flying an electro-mobility flying car: this is a possibility because we are MEMS!"

I’ll leave you hanging there, wanting to hear more of the excitement and challenging conversations at MEMS Executive Congress Europe 2013. A teaser: The next panel was MEMS in Energy, which discussed energy harvesting MEMS in depth, and as you can imagine, the opinions varied widely, to put it mildly. Soon, I’ll also describe to you the MEMS in Medical, focused on Aging panel which challenged us all to think more about quality of life issues and what more we can do with MEMS to enable a better world. So stay tuned, I’ll post my next blog soon.

MEMS Executive Congress Europe 2013 – Amsterdam is THE place to be for the MEMS industry on 12 March!

By Karen Lightman, Managing Director, MEMS Industry Group
The keynote address at last year’s MEMS Executive Congress Europe stated: "MEMS is only limited by the imagination." MEMS Industry Group (MIG) took that sentiment to heart, and organized a 2013 EU Congress chock full of interesting keynotes, panels, dialogue, and camaraderie. We invited some of the top European companies using and commercializing MEMS to share their insight and imagination on the future of MEMS applications in consumer products, automotive, medical, and energy. If you haven’t already, I strongly encourage you to register now.

On the morning of March 12, our keynote speaker, Ralf Schnupp, VP Segment Occupant Safety & Inertial Sensors of Continental Automotive GmbH, will present Future Trends in Automotive — Smart Systems and Sensors. I am extremely honored to have Dr. Schnupp as our keynote; he is extremely well respected in the industry and I know that he will open the Congress in a big and impressive way. In his keynote, he plans to present a vision of the future of automotive that is very macro/global in its perspective with a balance of "enhanced safety, environmental protection, increased connectivity, and affordable vehicles."

After Dr. Schnupp’s keynote, we will have a series of panels focused on MEMS in Consumer, Energy, Automotive and Medical. I could write an entire blog just on the panels but I’d rather not – as I’m focusing mainly on the keynotes today…but let’s just say that if you’ve ever been to a Congress before, you know we have a "recipe" for success. This year is no different. We have put together a healthy mix of moderators and panelists sprinkled with a little bit of controversy to make things interesting. Each panelist will bring his own unique perspective on the critical issues affecting the business of MEMS.

It’s been said that Europe provides a better environment for spawning MEMS innovation. So, I look forward to hearing from our panelists who are a great mix of end-users, academics, analysts and industry leaders who will share their visions on the success and remaining challenges to MEMS commercialization success. Some of the inventive topics our panels and keynotes will address are:

  • Standardization has played an important role in propelling growth in the consumer electronics industry – but what about MEMS? What progress has been made and what challenges remain?
  • What role will MEMS play in the car of the future and how might sensor fusion drive new applications?
  • How do MEMS advance quality of life now and in the future, from chronic disease management to sports rehab?
  • How are MEMS helping alternative energy adoption in Europe and when will MEMS be commercialized in energy harvesting for smaller consumer applications?

Our afternoon keynote will be Renzo Dal Molin, Advanced Research Director SORIN CRM within Cardiac Rhythm Management business unit, SORIN Group. Dr. Dal Molin is again an extremely well-known and respected leader in the field of cardiac medical research and technology. Dr. Dal Molin’s keynote is entitled Vision for Implanted Medical Devices Healthcare Solutions and Technical Challenges and will review how the market for microelectronic implants is growing phenomenally. He will share his vision for this industry and the main drivers of growth, as well as the challenges that lay ahead. I am sure our heads will be buzzing after his keynote and the conversation will take us all the way to our dinner at a place that I’ve always wanted to visit: the Heineken Brewery. Oh yes, we are having a strolling dinner at the world-famous Heineken Experience, where, as I have found myself saying "they serve food to accompany the beer." We will have fun. That is for sure.

I am obviously giving you just a sneak peak – so for complete details, you need to check out our full agenda that begins on March 11 with a dessert reception. Yes, it might have been the MIG staff’s idea to have plenty of desserts on hand (perhaps you’ve heard we like chocolate?); but we realized after last year’s inaugural EU Congress that most of our attendees were hanging out in the conference hotel bar anyhow, so we might as well make it an official party.

But back to what makes the Congress so unique – and why we’ve successfully held the US version for so many years (it will be nine years, this November 7-8 in Napa!) and why we are returning to Europe for a second year. MEMS Executive Congress by definition is not a technical conference. It is not a tradeshow. This is a business-based, senior-level, executive conference where commercialization, revenue, and success stories dominate the discussion. As Rich Duncome of HP stated a few years back after delivering his keynote, the Congress is like "networking on steroids."

In my very humble (and oh so slightly biased) opinion, there is only one place in Europe where global industry luminaries will be talking about where MEMS technology is growing, based on real experiences and real time data. And there is only one place where you can meet them. This compelling one-day event is a MUST for entire the MEMS supply-chain. And oh, have you registered yet for The MEMS Executive Congress Europe? You don’t want to miss it.

MEMS is happening in Vegas baby, and it’s coming home with you, too

By Karen Lightman, managing director, MEMS Industry Group

Everyone knows the famous refrain, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." But for MEMS, you’ll want what happens in Vegas to come home with you. Why? Because MEMS at CES has gone waaaaay beyond sensing your touch and letting you play Angry Birds.

MEMS Industry Group (MIG) is going back for a second year to International CES — because MEMS is happening in Vegas. And baby, it’s so cool and innovative and its applications are so new and exciting that it’s coming home with you, too. At 2013 International CES MEMS will be ever-present; and MIG is helping it stand out even more this year with our half-day MEMS conference track on January 8.

We will kick off our conference track with a very special keynote from Mr. Klaus Meder, president of Bosch Automotive Electronics, entitled "The MEMS Generation: Why Miniature ‘Machines’ are changing the User Experience with Everything." Mr. Meder will discuss the connectivity of the automobile with the consumer, all enabled by the power of MEMS. I spoke with Mr. Meder earlier this fall regarding this keynote and was thrilled to hear his passion for MEMS and the role he sees it playing in what he calls this "interconnected lifestyle." In Meder’s keynote, I expect that he will be taking the theory of the Internet of things one step further by demonstrating how a combination of MEMS and sensors are enabling our lives to be untethered by wires or roads. I was given a sneak peek of his presentation and got goose bumps when I saw the car of the future — and I think you will, too.

Even though I expect our mouths will be agape after Mr. Meder finishes his keynote, we’ll have to compose ourselves and move on with the show. Next up will be our panel "How to Never Get Lost in a Mall or a Museum: Indoor Navigation and the Smartphone." I am thrilled to see that this technology will soon be available in my smartphone with the aid of a combo of MEMS accelerometers, gyros, magnetometers and pressure sensors, creating a super-intelligent 10-axis mobile device. I am notorious for getting lost inside office buildings and any place where you can’t see direct sunlight. I know my children (especially) are looking forward to the day when I have such a smart phone that will allow us to get step-by-step directions of how to find the Abercrombie & Fitch in a shopping mall — with an ability to see what level it is on. I am going to have fun moderating these panelists and promise not to go too hard on them by asking them when I can pre-order my phone:

  • Dan Brown, CEO, Sensor Platforms
  • Seyed Paransun, vice president and general manager, Sensor and Actuator Solutions Division, Freescale Semiconductor
  • Benedetto Vigna, corporate vice president and general manager, Analog, MEMS and Sensors Group, Industrial and Multisegment Sector, STMicroelectronics

Next I’ll moderate the panel A Whole New Look for Digital Displays. Right now, MEMS-based technologies are the ‘secret ingredient’ in natural-looking color displays for impressive electronic applications such as the Kindle Fire. Based on the technology such as TI’s DLP, developed for rear-projection televisions and home theater systems, MEMS is now leading a renaissance in projection systems through the smallest projector imaginable: the pico projector. I expect that soon we’ll have high quality pico projectors in our mobile devices and MEMS-enabled Heads Up Displays assisting with navigation in our automobiles (it’s already in use in Japan). This panel will cover the full range of what’s hot in MEMS digital displays and you won’t want to miss it. Panelists include:

  • Evgeni Gousev, Senior Director of Engineering, Qualcomm Research
  • Elan Roth, marketing and business development director, Analog MEMS and Sensors Group mobile projection business, STMicroelectronics
  • Dale Zimmerman, vice president of R&D, MicroVision

I expect our last panel MEMS, Signal Quality, Smart Sound and the Mobile Handset is going to possibly be most inspiring of the three panels (feel free to prove me wrong). That’s because we’re talking about an issue that many of us hold so dear: the quality of our calls on our mobile handsets. Think about it, how many times a day do you drop a call or you can’t hear the person on the other end? Isn’t that annoying/frustrating? MEMS TO THE RESCUE! It’s like the blog I recently wrote for EETimes, "A day without MEMS" — well in a way, we are living it, because most of us don’t yet have MEMS RF switches or MEMS microphones in our smartphones. C’mon mobile handset manufacturers, get with the program and get us our MEMS! New RF MEMS "tunable antennas," MEMS oscillators and microphones are helping manufacturers to create more physically robust phones while boosting signal integrity and sound quality. I am really looking forward to this discussion because I think they will mainly all agree with each other on how MEMS should be pervasive in every single mobile handset to cure all dropped calls and end all poor quality calls:

  • Kieran Harney, product line director, Analog Devices
  • Jeff Hilbert, president and founder, WiSpry
  • Davin Yuknis, vice president of sales and marketing, Akustica

So mark your calendars and buy your conference passes now! The MEMS conference session takes place January 8, 2013, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., in the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) North Hall, Room N264. If you are a MIG member, you automatically get a discount on your conference pass.

Don’t forget that MIG is also hosting the MEMS TechZone, featuring members and partners with live demos of MEMS in consumer applications. The MEMS TechZone is located at the LVCC South Hall 2, Booth 25321. And remember, this time you’ll want to take what happens in Vegas home with you.

Preview of the MEMS Technology Showcase at MEMS Executive Congress US 2012

If I must tell the truth, the genesis of MEMS Technology Showcase began (as many great ideas do) at a bar over beers, the closing night of MEMS Executive Congress 2010. I was talking with Bryan Hoadley of Movea, who had just spoken on the MEMS in Consumer panel. He and I talked about what the MEMS industry needs — a way to show how cool the MEMS inside is — to showcase the "MEMS in the machine" (a marketing theme that we at MEMS Industry Group had just launched earlier that year). And viola! The concept for MEMS Technology Showcase was born.

My vision was to create a carnival-type atmosphere where OEM/end-user companies would compete to come up on stage while the moderator would be the ringmaster, virtual whip in hand, taming the masses who want a glimpse at the wonder of those magnificent MEMS-enabled products. My ultimate goal was to have companies not wait to release their products at CES in January, but instead, at MEMS Technology Showcase in November. I fantasized that someday even Apple would want to release their latest iPhone at the Congress! — (Well you must admit there are a lot of MEMS in there!)

Last year the MEMS Technology Showcase was a huge success — so big that others even tried to replicate it at their events (I guess it’s that expression: "imitation is the best form of flattery," right?) We crowned Recon Instruments‘ MOD-Live heads-up display for goggles as our winner, and they’ve gone on to great commercial success and recognition.

This year we have six finalists, and I am confident that our winner will receive accolades and customer orders galore, and it’ll be due in part to those fabulous little MEMS chips inside, enabling all that functionality in a smaller, faster and lower-power form factor with heaps of intelligence to boot.

I am equally confident in this year’s moderator, Shawn G. DuBravac, chief economist and senior director of research, Consumer Electronics Association. (BTW nothing will come close to CES, I was just kidding, Shawn. No hard feelings, right?) Shawn has mastered similar types of competitions for CEA and has already shared his advice on how to mange the "flow" of the competition/panel; his biggest suggestion was to get a HUGE DIGITAL CLOCK like the ones they have at finish lines for marathons. I thought we’d get the whip from my original ringmaster idea…

Here’s a peek at who will be competing in our second annual MEMS Technology Showcase:

VUE Patch

BodyMedia‘s VUE Patch — is a seven-day, disposable body-monitoring patch that measures calorie burn, activity levels and sleep patterns, creating a snapshot of lifestyle habits to guide recommendations for weight loss, diabetes management, sports/fitness, corporate wellness, and more.

12-axis Xtrinsic Sensor Platform for Windows 8

Freescale Semiconductor‘s 12-axis Xtrinsic sensor platform for Windows 8 extends sensor fusion in tablets, slates, laptops and other portable devices. This complete hardware and software reference platform fuses accelerometer, magnetometer and gyroscope data using a Freescale ColdFire+ MCU. It also features a ‘smart’ pressure sensor that provides pressure and altitude data. Certified for Windows 8.

Intel Atom Z2760 for Windows 8 tablets and convertibles

The Intel Atom processor Z2760 ("Clover Trail") was architected specifically for Windows 8. It is based on Intel’s 32nm process technology, powers lightweight tablets and convertibles that meet the demands of consumers and business users, and includes outstanding battery life, always-on technology, connected standby and the sleekest designs available. This touch-enabled tablet features a sensor hub microcontroller with an array of physical and logical motion sensors (including accelerometer, magnetometer, gyroscope, fusion sensors (compass, device orientation, and inclinometer), proximity, additional location systems (ALS) and GPS. Certified for Windows 8.

Light Bohrd

Light Bohrd, LLC, is looking to make revolutionary contributions in skateboarding and snowboarding style and safety by adding the world’s first motion-activated LED lights to each sport’s respective boards. The Light Bohrd LED design uses patent-pending technology to store energy and activate LED lights to illuminate the board’s graphics. With technology completely embedded, Light Bohrd’s boards are charged wirelessly through magnetic induction and are brought to life by the wave of a magnet. The lights are then activated with motion. A fully charged Light Bohrd will stay lit for up to six hours.

LUMOback

LUMOback is a wearable sensor and smartphone app that provides feedback on posture and movement. The sensor band is worn around the waist and gently vibrates when the wearer slouches to remind him/her to sit or stand up straight. The smartphone app displays an avatar that mimics the wearer’s movements and posture in real time, capturing that information when he/she sits, stands, walks, runs and sleeps. It is compatible with the iPhone 5, 4S, new iPod touch (5th gen) or new iPad (3rd gen).

Sphero

Orbotix‘s Sphero is the first robotic-ball gaming device controlled with a tilt, touch or swing from a smartphone or tablet. It immerses users in a new type of gameplay called "mixed-reality," in which real and virtual elements are seamlessly merged. Sphero interacts with mobile apps, giving people new ways to test their skills, play games with friends, and more. Users can even employ Sphero as a controller for on-screen gameplay. With free apps being developed continuously, including a mixed-reality version of golf, Sphero provides plenty of gaming thrills.

Please join us Thursday, November 8, 2012, 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. for the MEMS Technology Showcase at the MEMS Executive Congress. This panel is sponsored by Movea.

Preview of our fabulous keynotes at MEMS Executive Congress US 2012

by Karen Lightman, managing director, MEMS Industry Group

Recently I was talking with a MIG member about what was unique about this year’s Congress. I actually surprised myself when I instantly blurted out, "the keynotes!" Normally, I would talk about how cool the MEMS Technology Showcase is (and it is — really, it is!) And you’ll soon hear about it in an upcoming story/blog). But honestly, when I answer from my gut, I gotta go with my initial answer: this year’s fabulous keynotes.

Our opening keynote speaker is Ajith Amerasekera, TI Fellow, IEEE Fellow, Kilby Labs, Texas Instruments. Ajith was the director of Kilby Labs at TI, which he has described as a "do tank" rather than a "think tank." I am grateful for the time that Ajith has taken from his super-busy schedule solving important challenges at TI to answer a few questions for me, give us a peek inside his brain and preview what he’ll be discussing in his keynote, "Ultra Low-Power Electronics in the Next Decade," on the morning of November 8.

Ajith, with your vast experience at TI in the VLSI Design Labs, director of ASIC Technology Strategy, as well as the director of Kilby Labs, you’ve gained a great perspective of high tech and how it’s evolved since the 1980′s. So given your experience, how do you define the shift in electronic technology from centralized and high-touch to ubiquitous and low-touch, and what are the driving forces?

A. The shift is defined by a need for more localized intelligent electronic devices to control and manage our environment — from home automation to the smart grid. Electronics are enabling us to be more efficient and productive. The ability to build more powerful devices at very low power and cost levels enables us to distribute and embed intelligence widely. TI is a major player in ultra-low power, high-performance, analog chips and embedded processors that are the heart of these new systems.

Thank you, Ajith. Can you expand on why low-power electronic devices are so important to distributing intelligence across applications in our personal lives, health, transportation, and safety and security?

A. Power is critical to the operation of electronic devices. The more devices used, the more power we need, and the more we need them to be power-efficient. There are also other factors in play such as power distribution and availability, battery management, etc.

Can you give me some examples, or are we primarily talking about evolutionary advancements in smartphones and tablets?

A. We are talking about advancements in everything. One example is in the infotainment system of an automobile, where the center auto console is controlled by gesture-sensing that can tell if the person interacting is the driver or passenger, thereby limiting distracting behavior (like checking Facebook) for the driver, but allowing it for the passenger. Another example is a project on which we are actively working: the realization of smart buildings, smart cities and smart transportation. These projects require us to sense the environment and then optimize usage against resource availability. Interactive sensing is also useful in wellness management, health management, fitness and sports. Smartphones and tablets are just the tip of the iceberg, in terms of low-power applications that are changing our relationship with electronic devices.

That is fascinating and I can’t wait to hear more in your keynote, because I totally agree with you. But now I’ve gotta ask more about my favorite acronym, MEMS. What are your thoughts on how MEMS technology enables digital environments that adapt to and anticipate our needs? And where are the biggest potential impacts (positive and negative)?

A. We need to be able to sense our environment. And the key technology that helps us to do that is MEMS. MEMS technology will enable us to recreate the five senses — touch, smell, hearing, sight, taste — and will give us the capability to anticipate and adapt our needs. As for impacts, the positive impacts are already visible in the way we interact with our phones and tablets, how our homes manage power usage — kitchen appliances for baking potatoes to energy efficient dishwashers, for example. Negative impacts include security and safety, which arise when we rely so heavily on electronic technology. However, I am confident that these challenges will be solved.


And then to top it off, we have an equally amazing keynote in the afternoon. As our closing keynote, I have invited Robert Brunner who is the founder, creative director and partner of Ammunition, where he communicates strategic innovation through product design, brand and surrounding experience.

What most impresses me about Robert is that when he’s working with the likes of Dr. Dre on his Beats’ brand of high-performance headphones and loudspeakers and the Barnes & Noble folks on their Nook, he is always thinking of the human hands that are going to use the end product. He truly understands that it’s not the gee-whiz of a technology that will determine the success of a product, but it’s the design and how it fits and works with the human — and the human hands that will make or break the next killer app.

I am equally grateful to Robert for sharing his brilliance with me and answering a few questions to preview his upcoming keynote. I asked him to tailor his keynote to my MEMS supply chain audience and push them to really think about where their products are ending up: in human hands.

Robert, what if we in the MEMS industry "build it and no one comes?" In other words, why is the user experience more important than component technology in creating the amazing product breakthroughs that change our world? What are a few examples?

A. While underlying technology is essential to providing a capability to the user, what people really care about is what it does, how it does it, how it feels and how it fits their lives. So it might be a great breakthrough, but if it is not designed for the user in a way that is compelling and desirable, they won’t care and it will fail. The iPhone is a perfect example of this. There is tremendous development and technology behind what makes it function the way it does, but what people care about is how it delivers that total user experience. It is why it’s such a successful a product.

Thank you, Robert. Following on that same line of thinking, how can technologists understand and value the user experience as much as they do the underlying technology within? Based on your experience working at Apple, what is the best piece of advice that you can impart to technologists working to create a breakthrough product that will be loved by the masses for its industrial design?

A. First of all, everybody is a designer. That is, anywhere you are on the chain in delivering something into a user’s hands, you have a role in enabling an experience and should embrace this responsibility. It is always important to work back from the ideal experience into the device, not the other way around. If you let the technology drive the experience per se, you may end up with something that works, but is difficult, and does not connect with people. As the product is being developed, work with user-experience (UE) or design teams early to define and understand the ideal user scenario, then activate that as a tool to shape the functionality and capabilities of the technology and device. It is truly about an insurance policy for success.

Again — fantastic and practical all at the same time. So how can I take this "to the street" as it were? How can MEMS device manufacturers increase the perceived value of their products to customers? How about to end-users? (Will there ever be a campaign for the ‘gyro inside,’ for example?)

A. Well, this is tricky, as it has to be real. You cannot simply brand something around an ideal unless you have the technology and capability to support it. "Intel Inside" was quite successful as they managed to communicate it as a sort of quality ideal (and forced manufacturers to put the tag on their products!) But today, I think people are suspicious of this unless it goes with an actual capability that is valuable to them. If you successfully embody a user-centric approach to realizing a capability and can define its value to people, then finding a way to succinctly and emotionally communicate this to people can be huge!

We put this into practice with Beats Audio. We built a brand around an emotional connection to music with our Beats’ products, then licensed the underlying algorithm and DSP to other companies, and allowed them to carry the Beats Audio brand on their products. The Beats’ symbol carries an emotional meaning with regard to reproducing modern music, so it has value for people that they are willing to buy. If we had not created that value in how people connect to the products’ functionality, it would be meaningless.

Well I hope you are as enthralled with these two guys as I am and will join me for our eighth annual MEMS Executive Congress keynotes:

  • Thursday, November 8, 2012, 4:15-5:00 p.m. for "Ideas, Not Objects," with an introduction by Mike Rosa, MEMS global product manager, Applied Materials.

Preview of MEMS in consumer products panel at MEMS Executive Congress US 2012

By Karen Lightman, managing director, MEMS Industry Group

I remember the first time we had a panel on consumer MEMS products at the MEMS Executive Congress. It was November 2006: Marlene Bourne was our moderator and our panelists were: Frank Melzer (CEO of the newly formed Bosch Sensortec); Benedetto Vigna (back then his title was MEMS business unit director, STMicroelectronics); Mark Martin’s predecessor, Bill Giudice, vice president and general manager, Micromachined Products Division, Analog Devices; and Rick Thompson, manager, Advanced RF Technologies, BAE SYSTEMS.

Well, things sure have changed since then, haven’t they? In those days, we were all abuzz about the imminent release of the Nintendo Wii and the amazing impact of the Apple iPod. (The iPhone wouldn’t be announced for another two months.) Makes me smile when I think back at how simple and innocent the times were back then…
We’ve learned a lot over the past six years. While most of the companies from the 2006 consumer panel are still active in MEMS (but only two of the panelists!), the Congress is now focused on hearing from end-users who are driving the market for MEMS. I am honored and truly delighted to have as this year’s moderator for "MEMS in Consumer Products," my colleague Evgeni Gousev, senior director, Technology Development, Qualcomm MEMS Technologies, Inc.

I had the rare delight of discussing the panel topic over dinner with Evgeni when I was in the Bay Area a few weeks ago (for the MEMS workshop MIG did with BSAC). I scribbled my notes in between bites of a delicious, fresh California green salad to get a glimpse of what Evgeni will be discussing with panelists on the topic of MEMS in consumer products.

Q: Evgeni, I am impressed by the combined breadth of experience of your panelists. Can you give me a little background?

A: Sanjay Gupta recently left Motorola Mobility where he was vice president of product development. Sanjay has a successful track record of conceptualization, development, and commercialization of complex software and consumer electronics products; was a founding Board member of the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) and served on the Java Community Process (JCP), ME Executive Committee (EC); and led the standardization of GSM, GPRS and UMTS standards.

Dragan Mladenovic is director of business management for Maxim Integrated’s Sensor Division. Dragan has an extensive background in the semiconductor industry and has worked on the following projects: automotive airbag satellite sensors; automotive 77GHz radar (based on the SiGe technology); and eCompass (based on the TMR technology). Most recently Dragan has been involved in the 4 degrees of freedom (DoF) MEMS products for automotive safety applications (rollover, dynamic stability control) and 3DoF of 6DoF MEMS products for smartphones, tablets and wearable devices.

Will Turnage is vice president of technology and invention at the advertising agency, R/GA. Will is accountable for global technical product innovation and digital experimentation at R/GA; recent projects include Nike+ FuelBand. With a well-earned reputation as an industry thought leader, he has presented his unique perspective at events like SXSW, the Behance Network’s 99% Conference, and JSConf.

Q: Fantastic lineup of panelists who will give us very diverse perspectives on future markets for MEMS in consumer products! Now let’s talk about potential questions you’d like to ask these guys. For instance, what drives innovative applications, software and hardware in MEMS? How can companies add value to the MEMS supply chain?

A. Historically it’s always been the MEMS technology itself (the "tech push") that has driven the innovation. But this has changed as the demand for consumer products has grown, and cost pressures have risen. Now we are seeing more "market pull", or consumer demand for features enabled by MEMS, with increased opportunities for software integrators and designers to utilize MEMS as an enabling technology.

Because the consumer products’ market is mostly customer-driven, MEMS suppliers are typically delivering technology that is just "good enough." But customers are demanding more, and OEMs are forced to respond in kind. MEMS suppliers are stepping up with sensor-fusion software that supports the MEMS within, to make it easier for OEMs to get what they want, and the application development community also has a role to play. The most successful companies have mobilized and connected to the user community to help develop some of the most creative and practical uses of their products. Their approach proves that you must have all the pieces together — cooperation between technology and the application folks from the very beginning.

For mobile devices, the main requirements are "good-enough technology" but also low cost and low power consumption. The industry is doing pretty well on two of the three, but one could argue that there still is room for improvement in other areas in the consumer products market — especially with respect to power consumption. There are still many untapped opportunities and markets for solutions like energy harvesting and other lower-power options for consumer products. MEMS can and will play a key role here.

Q. What are the macro societal trends that will drive demand for more consumer products with MEMS inside? What are the challenges?

A. Consumers are expecting — really — demanding MEMS-based solutions in their consumer products. That raises the bar even higher — to the degree that MEMS is expected in every next-generation consumer product. We need to think about what’s next and big and really revolutionary in the use and application of MEMS.

In the mobile space content that is context and location relevant due to advanced sensors are rich MEMS-based opportunities. Monetization of digital content is only in its very formative stages and will grow exponentially when the content is more relevant to the time, environment and context to the content consumer.

It’s also a generational thing. Younger generations use and communicate via consumer products differently. This has and will continue to raise the expectations for MEMS in consumer products. For example, augmented reality (AR) gets a lot of attention. Today we see AR applications gaming, media/advertising, and education. Futurists predict we will likely see AR in visual speech, navigation and discovery, and social networking. With MEMS sensor data, adding connectivity and the cloud, the MEMS infrastructure is strong and will only grow as these macroeconomic trends evolve.

Thank you, Evgeni. I am really looking forward to hearing more about MEMS in Consumer Products at MEMS Executive Congress US 2012 in Scottsdale, AZ in November!