MEMS Devices Proliferate in Consumer Electronics

PITTSBURGH, PA /PRNewswire/ -- The MEMS Industry Group (MIG), the trade association representing the microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and microstructures industries, released its annual industry report. The MIG Industry Report—Focus on MEMS Integration predicts that 2006 will be marked as the year in which MEMS made significant inroads into the consumer electronics market, in applications such as accelerometer-based motion sensing in remote consoles for gaming; integrated dual-axis gyroscopes for image stabilization in mobile phones and digital still cameras; silicon microphones into acoustic modules; and silicon resonators enabling multiple timing applications, such as quartz replacement in watches.

Once measured in the hundreds, MEMS devices—tiny machines that combine intelligent sensing and semiconductor circuitry to improve the functionality, cost and flexibility of a range of electronic systems—are being measured in the hundreds of thousands and are being sold by the millions. The MEMS market is expected to double from $5 Billion to nearly $10 Billion in the next six years, according to Yole Developpement, an industry research firm. Driving this success, according to the MIG report, are improved manufacturability; technological advances that enable more functionality on a single chip; increased reliability; the prevalence of 6-inch manufacturing lines; new bonding vacuum and getter technology; as well as enhancements in packaging techniques that have greatly improved MEMS adaptability and accessibility. While MEMS devices are experiencing growth across market segments, they are being embraced most rapidly in consumer electronics.

"Given the success that ST Microelectronics has had in the MEMS space, we are not surprised that demand for MEMS integration is in part driven by a skyrocketing consumer electronics industry. The impressive market reception of the Nintendo Wii—which contains one of our MEMS devices—is but one example of MEMS integration in the consumer electronics space. We expect our industry to experience many more success stories over the coming year," stated Dr. Benedetto Vigna, general manager MEMS Product Division, STMicroelectronics.

"Once again, the MEMS Industry Group is proving that it truly is a voice for the MEMS industry by issuing a report on one of the greatest challenges and opportunities facing the MEMS industry-MEMS integration"; said Raymond Wiley, VP–North American Sales and Marketing, Icemos Technology Ltd.

The MIG report also details future trends and remaining challenges to MEMS integration, addressing: integrated circuit (IC)-compatible manufacturing; wafer-level encapsulation; wireless MEMS applications such as meshed MEMS sensor networks; packaging; system-level integration; and MEMS business decisions, including volume and fabless manufacturing options, intellectual property and vertical integration issues, and the need for a better technology and manufacturing strategy.

About MIG's Industry Report
MIG's Industry Report is founded on quantitative and qualitative research by the MEMS industry. The 90-page report includes an in-depth survey of the MEMS industry on MEMS integration and case studies discussing MEMS integration from Freescale Semiconductor and MEMSCAP. The report also includes the 2006 MEMS Industry Statistics Survey with results and analysis. The report is only available to MIG members.

About MEMS Industry Group
MEMS Industry Group (MIG) is the trade association representing the MEMS and microstructures industries. The Association enables the exchange of non- proprietary information among members; provides reliable industry data that furthers the development of technology; and works with legislators, policymakers and others toward the greater commercial development and use of MEMS and MEMS-enabled devices. MIG is comprised of over 70 member companies, including Bosch, Freescale Semiconductor, GE Global Research, Honeywell, IBM, Intel, Knowles Acoustics, Northrop Grumman, Okmetic Ojy, ST Microelectronics, and Texas Instruments. For more information, please visit the group's Web site.

Ellen McDevitt, MEMS Industry Group, 412-390-1644, or [email protected].

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