Measurement Technology Hopes To Become New Standard In All MEMS Sensors

When a company, established or just sprinting out of the gate, touts its technology as the next greatest thing since oxygen, it’s time to investigate, even though we may roll our eyes and say, “again!?”. Any editor dealing with products of any ilk will tell you this happens at least twice a day. An email comes in with a press release heralding the world’s fastest, smallest, most accurate, and/or least expensive whatever. One of my all-time favorites goes back to 1998 when I received an announcement trumpeting the world’s first blue digital multimeter (DMM)! Indeed, a major technological breakthrough beyond compute.

But all eye rolling aside, more often than not, the claim to fame amplified by any company’s PR person is usually true, more or less. And it is usually something worth noting, more or less.

Australian company Panorama Synergy Limited claims its LumiMEMS Reader is “the most precise measuring system on the planet.” Under its own test crew, the company has demonstrated the viability of its laser-based optical readout system for use in Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS). Adding credibility to successful testing, Panorama Synergy, partnering with the University of Western Australia, under the auspices of Associate Professor Gino Putrino, reportedly a world leader in MEMS optical readout systems, has successfully lodged patent applications in Australia, the US, and Europe.

LumiMEMS Reader Features & Advantages

The company points out that MEMS sensors require a readout system to evaluate and communicate data they measure. To better perform this task, Panorama Synergy claims LumiMEMS Reader is more accurate and sensitive than industry standard readout systems. It has the potential to become a new standard just as fiber optics has over copper wire.

Stated by the company, this unique reader has a plethora of desirable features. First off, it is a portable, autonomous system capable of integrating with all existing MEMS devices and can measure hundreds of sensors simultaneously without interference from noise.

A robust tool, the LumiMEMS Reader operates reliably in air, water, and other fluids or in a vacuum and can be made from materials significantly more heat resistant than the system itself. In addition to locales, its current suite of granted patents extends to biological and chemical detection using optical micro-cantilever detection and an atomic force microscope application.

LumiMEMS Reader can read multiple sensors on a single chip using wave division multiplexing (see figure1). It can be integrated into the silicon via industry-standard techniques.

Figure 1

It can read hundreds of MEMS structures at a time (micro-cantilevers, microbridges, membranes, or combinations thereof), essentially the same as reading hundreds of individual bench-mounted optical readout systems simultaneously. According to the company, this makes LumiMEMS Reader more accurate than existing optical readers. It can therefore detect substances sooner as well as substances previously undetectable as long as it is chemical or biological in nature.

A highly attractive feature these days, LumiMEMS Reader allegedly will cost the same or less to produce than existing technologies. The company points out there are a number of existing foundries that can mass produce it.

How It Works


The Future

Currently, the company has an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with the University of Western Australia for the use of the LumiMEMS Reader as well as the necessary patent protections. Again, it has successfully completed lab testing to confirm viability and has commenced preliminary talks with interested parties concerning application-specific requirements that LumiMEMS Reader may initialize.

The next steps for Panorama Synergy include full-scale commercialization, finalizing licensing deals with initial customers in mining, safety, and healthcare markets, identifying vertical partners for sales and distribution, commercial production and sale, and, naturally, continuously improving the technology.

To learn more about this emerging technology, visit the company’s website. I’m sure you’ll agree, LumiMEMS Reader is far more interesting than the universe’s first blue DMM. ~ MD


Sydney, Australia

+61 2 8226 3302

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