Power/Performance Bits: Nov. 14


Bacteria power wastewater cleanup Researchers at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) are exploring ways to detoxify warm, salty industrial wastewater while simultaneously generating electricity. They are using bacteria with remarkable properties: the ability to transfer electrons outside their cells (exoelectrogenes) and the capacity to withstand extremes of temperat... » 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

The Trouble With MEMS


The advent of the Internet of Things will open up a slew of new opportunities for MEMS-based sensors, but chipmakers are proceeding cautiously. There are a number of reasons for that restraint. Microelectromechanical systems are difficult to design, manufacture and test, which initially fueled optimism in the MEMS ecosystem that this market would command the same kinds of premiums that analo... » read more

MEMS Foundries Play Waiting Game


By Mark LaPedus For years, the foundries in the microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) business have been patiently waiting for the MEMS integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) to outsource some or all of their production. The MEMS foundries are still waiting for that development. Because MEMS are custom devices tuned to a proprietary process and toolset, IDMs still prefer to use their own f... » read more