PITTSBURGH, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The MEMS Executive Congress, a meeting of leaders in the MEMS commercial and technology fields brought together by the MEMS Industry Group (MIG), today suggested that the market is seeing more rapid product development based on the availability of well tested MEMS components. At the same time, companies are moving from pursuit of large- scale innovation to focused development based on customer requirements and even customer funding. The Congress, which took place yesterday, attracted close to 100 attendees from a diverse group of markets and companies. The meeting was part of MIG's mission of identifying and addressing challenges facing the industry. Prominent speakers included representatives from Honeywell, Intel, Texas Instruments, IBM's Zurich Research Laboratory, Qualcomm MEMS, Medtronic, JDS Uniphase and Lucent Technologies. Several speakers also came from the U.S. government's Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to provide overviews of work conducted under its contracts and a preview of upcoming programs. "We've come a long way since airbags -- new MEMS devices are increasingly transforming the technology landscape, from life-saving healthcare products to high density storage," said Ellen McDevitt, executive director, MEMS Industry Group. "This gathering of high-level executives and technologists provided an extraordinary forum for insights into where the MEMS industry is going, how fast it's getting there and some of the solutions it has developed to meet lingering challenges." "The MEMS industry has seen significant revenue growth over the past year across various sectors, from integrators incorporating new MEMS devices into systems to independent MEMS fabs now involved in component production for consumer products," said Jean-Christophe Eloy, general manager, Yole Developpement, a Lyon, France-based market research firm specializing in MEMS and nanotechnology. "The foundry business in particular is growing at more than 30 percent per year, indicating healthy growth. We see the market speeding up even more, based on the availability of new, proven MEMS building blocks." A number of panels provided a look at industry developments. In "Making Money with MEMS," panelists discussed the reasons behind faster product development times. Kurt Peterson, chairman and CEO of SiTime, and a four-time entrepreneur with an silicon oscillator due out next year, attributed his reduced development time to previous work by a corporate partner, the availability of better design software, and off-the-shelf manufacturing equipment for MEMS. In a panel on integration challenges, Dr. Astro Teller, chairman and CEO of Bodymedia, a developer of wearable body monitoring equipment, discussed how the "iPodization of healthcare" prompted him to look at MEMS as a sensor solution that met critical cost and performance criteria. Mark Miles, the founder of MEMS-based display technology company Iridigm, discussed Qualcomm MEMS' interest in his start-up that led to its acquisition by the larger company. About MEMS MEMS is an approach to fabrication that uses, as a basis, the materials and processes of microelectronics fabrication and conveys the advantages of miniaturization, multiple components and microelectronics to the design and construction of integrated microstructures and electromechanical systems. MEMS is an enabling technology that supports and creates numerous functions in diverse industries. About the MEMS Industry Group MEMS Industry Group (MIG) is the trade association representing the MEMS and microstructures industries. The Association enables the exchange of non- propriety 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 currently comprised of over 60 member companies, including Texas Instruments, Honeywell, Intel, XACTIX, and Northrop Grumman.
SOURCE The MEMS Industry Group