Overview MEMS / Sensor Applications
New applications using MEMS are being constantly developed and becoming common-place in our everyday lives. The number of MEMS types and their applications is growing and consumer, mobile and computer applications raise the challenge of manufacturing MEMS in high-volume, which X-FAB MEMS Foundry addresses with its 200mm and 150mm wafer facilities.
Hundreds of products in electronic stores are using MEMS and the list grows longer every day. Mobile phones, tablet PCs, laptops, digital still cameras, camcorders, web cameras, MP3 players, navigation systems, headphones, hands-free headsets, games, toys, washing machines, refrigerators and dishwashers are all using MEMS components.
For instance, smart phones are rich in MEMS with accelerometers and gyroscopes being used for screen orientation detection and enhanced navigation, silicon microphones for better audio performance, reliability and the possibility of simpler manufacturing techniques. Pressure sensors are playing an increasing role in 3D navigation and various RF MEMS are used as oscillators, switches, BAW filters and variable capacitors.
The consumer, mobile and computer use of MEMS will continue to expand rapidly as applications currently found only in high-end products are destined to become standard features in all devices.
Medical / BioMEMS
Industrial / Aeronautic
Since the original Manifold Absolute Pressure Sensor (MAPS) the use of MEMS in cars has become not only desirable but now essential as they help improve engine efficiency to meet emissions regulations and provide critical safety information on tire pressure and vehicle stability. Legislation in countries such as the USA, Japan, Korea and Australia as well as across the European Union is driving the adoption of multiple MEMS components using pressure sensors, accelerometers or gyroscopes in all motor vehicles.
Infra-red imaging bolometers are used for enhanced camera imaging in cars and applications are increasing from night-vision for security and defense to thermal imaging of buildings for energy saving studies.
Biomedical MEMS applications for drug delivery, chemical analysis, blood pressure and body-temperature monitoring are finding uses in laboratories, hospitals and in patient’s homes.
In the future we can look forward to MEMS speakers, fuel cells and energy-harvesting MEMS.