The hottest topic for engineers? MEMS

Brain with gears illustration
An oldie but goodie: MEMS has been around for a long time, but new innovations and applications make it a top area of interest for engineers.

One of the challenging aspects of surveying design engineers on the topics they want information about is that they frequently state that they are interested in almost everything. Curiosity, it seems, is an intrinsic quality of being an engineer.

A way around that problem is to look at what engineers actually do versus what they say. For example, by looking at the most popular articles viewed on FierceElectronics or actual headcount by session at the Sensors Conference, we can get a better gauge of their true interest.

In other words, it’s a somewhat better measure of interest because readers and attendees who design with sensors are actually voting with their feet (or fingers!).

We are pretty much data junkies over here at FierceElectronics. But recently we looked at a combination of data sources to gain better insights into the topics that our readers and conference attendees find most compelling.

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Our goal in doing this is to make sure that we continue to deliver the information they need most. We also think readers will find it interesting to see what topics other readers are most interested in.

In rank order, the most sought topic areas are:

  1. MEMS
  2. IoT and connected devices
  3. Autonomous vehicles
  4. Low power and power management
  5. Systems design

What are the trends that are driving the interest in these topics?

MEMS: Since the first commercial application for MEMS to detect strain in steel, the market for MEMS has been growing. The technology itself is continually getting smaller and more advanced, increasing demand for it in applications such as automotive and medical and opening up new application areas like wearables. According to the market research company Mordor Intelligence, the MEMS market is forecast to experience a CAGR of 6.34% over between 2020 and 2025.

IoT: Sensors are a critical component of any Internet-enabled device. With the explosive rise in IoT and connected devices, there is an increasing need for (and need for information about) sensors of all types with more capabilities, greater range and performance, and lower cost for those applications. Engineers are looking for more intelligent sensors at the edge and information about systems integration.

Autonomous Vehicles: In our experience, most engineers are interested in almost anything related to cars. The rise of autonomous vehicles is fueling that interest, as some of the most exciting developments are in sensor technologies such as radar, LiDAR, and image sensors. The autonomous vehicle sensors market is expected to grow by 45.3 million units during 2020-2024, according to market research company Technavio, so we expect that interest to continue.

Low power and power management: You can never go too low when it comes to power consumption. With the rise of connected devices and more battery powered systems, engineers are looking for sensor solutions that operate on lower power and incorporate a sleep mode between readings. They are also interested in power management within the context of systems design.

Systems Design: Sensors don’t work in isolation, and there is a growing need for information and education not only about the sensor itself, but also an understanding of their role, functionality, and requirements in networks, systems, and end products.

RELATED: MEMS sensor market to reach $50 billion as ASPs drop: study


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