What’s New On The MEMS Horizon?


In my previous blog post, I discussed emerging trends and the increased demand for MEMS; now I’ll focus on what we can expect in the immediate future in terms of new device technologies and MEMS-enabled products. While the more well-known MEMS such as accelerometers, gyroscopes, microphones and pressure sensors continue to grow in volume as they find new applications in things like wire... » read more

MEMS Microphones: A Bright Spot Among Commoditized Consumer Sensors


MEMS microphones have emerged as a bright spot among consumer sensors, which in general are going through a rapid commoditization and profit-squeezing trend. To understand what’s driving the MEMS microphone market, consider that the Apple iPhone 7 and 7S each have 4 MEMS microphones. As reported by System Plus Consulting, the latest iPhones have “a front-facing top microphone, presumably f... » read more

MEMS: Improving Cost And Yield


MEMS devices inspire awe on the design side. On the test and manufacturing side, they evoke a different kind of reaction. These are, after all, the intersection of mechanical and electrical engineering—a joining of two miniature worlds that are the basis of some of the most complex technology on the planet. But getting these devices to yield sufficiently, understanding what does or does no... » read more

Advanced Wafer Level Packaging Of RF-MEMS With RDL Inductor


The market for portable and mobile data access devices that are wirelessly connected to the cloud anytime and anywhere is exploding. The trend to access any network from anywhere is driving increased functional convergence in the radio, which translates into increased packaging complexity and sophistication. This is creating unprecedented demand for RF components providing more integration- in ... » read more

2.5D Adds Test Challenges


OSATs and ATE vendors are making progress in determining what works and what doesn't in 2.5D packaging, expanding their knowledge base as this evolves into a mainstream technology. A [getkc id="82" kc_name="2.5D"] package generally includes an ASIC connected to a stack of memory chips—usually high-bandwidth memory—using an [getkc id="204" kc_name="interposer"] or some type of silicon bri... » read more

MEMS: A Tale Of Two Tough Markets


The MEMS market is growing rapidly, profits not so much. In most market segments, this would be a signal that more automation and standardization are required. But in the microelectromechanical systems world, fixes aren't so simple. And even where something can be automated, that automation doesn't work all the time. In fact, while MEMS devices are extremely difficult to design, build and ma... » read more

New Techniques To Analyze And Reduce Etch Variation


Time division multiplex (TDM) plasma etch processes (commonly referred to as Deep Reactive ION Etching [“DRIE”]) use alternating deposition and etch steps cyclically to produce high aspect ratio structures on a silicon substrate. These etch processes have been widely applied in the manufacturing of silicon MEMS devices, and more recently in creating through silicon vias in 3D silicon struct... » read more

What’s Up MEMS?


Strong segment growth. A whole slew of new devices on the horizon. A healthy pipeline of enabling critical problems to be solved. Has somebody been peeking at my Christmas list? Possibly yes, and thankfully so, because 2016 has been that kind of year in MEMS. Taking a look at the numbers from Yole Developpement, they expect 2016 MEMS device segment revenue to be around $13B, with an estimate... » read more

China Unveils Memory Plans


Backed by billions of dollars in government funding, China in 2014 launched a major initiative to advance its domestic semiconductor, IC-packaging and other electronic sectors. So far, though, the results are mixed. China is making progress in IC-packaging, but the nation’s efforts to advance its domestic logic and memory sectors are still a work in progress. In fact, China has yet to achi... » read more

The Week In Review: IoT


Tools Google this week updated its Internet of Things platform, releasing a Developer Preview for Android Things, enabling application developers to create IoT devices running on the mobile Android operating system. “We incorporated the feedback from Project Brillo to include familiar tools such as Android Studio, the Android Software Development Kit (SDK), Google Play Services, and Google C... » read more

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