MEMS first appeared in the 1960s. Since then, this technology has progressed from the use in specialized equipment in technical mechanisms to modern digital products available for the general consumer. However, progress does not halt, and global scientific thought continues on its rapid ascent to new heights. So, what is the future of MEMS?
MEMS development has emerged as one of the most promising fields in recent years. It is rapidly evolving and improving, revolutionizing both industrial and consumer products.
MEMS’s application is greatly expanded because it combines silicon-based microelectronics, microprocessing technology, and accessibility. It is changing people’s lives all over the world.
The Industry’s Major Challenges
MEMS development, like any other industry, faces challenges. Here are some of them:
Access To Foundries
Manufacturing capabilities for large-scale production of MEMS-based prototypes and devices are quite limited. Furthermore, the majority of companies that intend to benefit from MEMS do not currently have access to the necessary capabilities to support the production of such devices.
Design, Modelling, and Simulation
Deep manufacturing knowledge and advanced modelling tools are required to model and manufacture MEMS devices. It is also necessary to invest consistently in the development and subsequent creation of a prototype of the mechanism and to provide MEMS designers with access to appropriate analytical tools. Currently, these mechanisms are being developed through the trial-and-error method.
Testing And Packaging
Testing and packaging MEMS devices are a critical and sometimes costly step. As a result of testing, something unexpected may occur, resulting in the breakdown of individual parts.
In terms of packaging, the MEMS package should protect the device from operating environment factors while also being lightweight and easy to open. As a result, the package significantly raises the device’s final manufacturing cost.
Standardization of MEMS devices has been extremely difficult due to the relatively slow rate of their commercial development. As a result, in 2000, one founded the MEMS industry group (MEMS-IG) in Pittsburgh, USA.
Intel, Xerox, Honeywell, Corning, and JDS Uniphase were among the founding companies of the group. They attempted to develop a technology roadmap and a source of objective MEMS industry statistics.
Provision Of Education And Regular Training
MEMS’ complexity and interdisciplinary nature necessitate not only in-depth knowledge in this area but also the hiring of well-trained scientists and engineers from a variety of fields. The issue is that the MEMS-building industry is short on specialists.
Although many universities offer MEMS-based degrees, learning in this field is still expensive and time-consuming for many students.
What Does The Future Of MEMS Look Like?
The use of MEMS enabled the implementation of many devices that seemed fantastic a decade ago, such as augmented reality glasses and flexible touch screens. What technological advances can one anticipate soon?
According to Yole Development forecasts, the market for consumption of products containing MEMS components will keep on growing, implying that manufacturers of electronic components should now consider increasing production capacity.
The market for MEMS devices is still developing. However, progress is relatively slow. Industry, for the most part, still employs older volumetric methods for the production of goods.
Although MEMS has proven to be effective in the development and production of new products for industry and consumers, this technology necessitates entirely different skills, capabilities, and conditions for implementation, testing, and packaging. Foundries are considering taking steps to commercialize MEMS.
This includes not only reassessing the economic feasibility of integrating MEMS-based components but also identifying reliable markets for sales of such devices. The manufacturing cost of MEMS devices will be also significantly reduced in the future, making them more affordable and profitable for use by both large enterprises and small businesses.
This post was written and contributed by Maradin: https://www.maradin.co.il