GENEVA /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- STMicroelectronics, a leading supplier of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) devices and technology, has published a new issue of the ST Journal of Research focusing on MEMS. Previous issues, similarly built around a particular technology theme, have presented details on the company's advanced research efforts on processor architecture and compilation and networked multimedia. Written by STMicroelectronics' researchers, in cooperation with top scientists and researchers at leading universities and research partners around the world, the ST Journal of Research hosts technical papers and discussions on selected themes. All papers are peer-reviewed, and coverage is coordinated by an expert in the relevant field.
MEMS is an exciting technology that exploits the mechanical properties of silicon to integrate mechanical structures sensitive to vibration, displacement, acceleration, and rotation. This technology has opened the door to a new generation of compact, cost-effective, high-precision sensors. While conventional microelectronics development has focused on incremental improvements on well-established electronics technologies, MEMS compel designers to think three dimensionally and to acquire a unique blend of multidisciplinary skills combining electrical, semiconductor, and mechanical design.
MEMS are manufactured via a micromachining process that shares processing steps similar to and derived from basic integrated circuit techniques. Rather than simply producing an electrical circuit, however, the result is typically an electrical circuit along with a 3D mechanical structure, most often on a silicon substrate. Automotive, industrial, consumer, telecommunication, and medical markets are taking great advantage of MEMS technology. The technology can add substantial new capabilities to applications and products, making them easier to use, more functional, more reliable, and more affordable. Common application of MEMS technology today is found in airbag sensors and ink-jet printer heads.
The editors of the ST Journal of Research have collected nine technical papers addressing a wide spectrum of issues and solutions in MEMS. Among the topics covered in this issue are mechanical characterization of MEMS devices, new process technologies for MEMS, MEMS optical switches, MEMS gyroscopes, and RF MEMS.
"A broad range of applications in a wide range of markets are adopting micro-machined products, as ST and others expand their technology portfolio and manufacture more efficiently," said Benedetto Vigna, director, MEMS business unit, STMicroelectronics. "Expansion into new markets requires MEMS pioneers to adopt a new mindset and to challenge themselves with visionary solutions, adopting new technology solutions. The ST Journal of Research is an excellent vehicle from which to share some key issues and solutions with the research community."
The ST Journal of Research aims to facilitate knowledge sharing and exchange on key research issues, methodologies, and solutions. ST publishes its journal in electronic format and is available on the Web.
STMicroelectronics is a global leader in developing and delivering semiconductor solutions across the spectrum of microelectronics applications. An "unrivalled" combination of silicon and system expertise, manufacturing strength, intellectual property portfolio, and strategic partners positions the company at the forefront of system-on-chip technology, and its products play a key role in enabling today's convergence markets. The company's shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, Euronext Paris, and the Milan Stock Exchange. In 2004, the company's net revenues were $8.76 billion and net earnings were $601 million. Further information on ST can be found on the company's Web site.