Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems MEMS Technology Roadmap 2015

MEMS - 2015 iNEMI Roadmap

iNEMI, Date of Publication: Apr 7, 2015

Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) Technology Roadmap 2015

The MEMS - 2015 iNEMI Roadmap is the most comprehensive roadmap published to date by the International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI). The complete roadmap report is available hereThe 2015 Roadmap was developed by five Product Emulator Groups (PEGs) and 19 Technology Working Groups (TWGs). The TWGs responded to the inputs and requirements outlined by representatives of OEMs in the five Product Emulator Groups (PEGs). These groups included more than 500 direct participants from over 280 private corporations, consortia, government agencies, and universities in 20 countries.

The roadmap identifies major trends in the evolution of MEMS-Sensors, with an emphasis on identifying potentially disruptive events (business and technology). It provides the information needed to identify critical technology and infrastructure gaps, prioritize R&D needs to meet those gaps, and initiate activities that address industry needs.

Through its roadmaps, iNEMI charts future opportunities and challenges for the electronics manufacturing industry. These widely utilized roadmaps:

  • Help OEMs, EMS providers and suppliers prioritize investments in R&D
     and technology deployment

  • Influence the focus of university-based research

  • Provide guidance for government investment in emerging technologies

Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) have an extremely diverse application set, ranging from physical to optical, chemical, and biological, as well as a diversity of materials and methods used to manufacture them.  A first impression of MEMS would undoubtedly start with the theme of miniaturization for realizing ever-smaller sensors and actuators.  However, where they truly stand apart is by the integration (also referred to as co-integration) of added functionalities: combining sensing and actuation operations with information processing, signal conditioning, built-in test, and communications.  MEMS technology is a child or ancillary innovation of semiconductor electronics much as people have pointed toward the information technology being an ancillary innovation of semiconductor technology.  However, MEMS  diversity including  front end manufacturing techniques, back end manufacturing techniques, required testing procedures, diversified materials and the lack of a unit cell or standardized precursers such as the transistor and MOS or Bipolar technologies make the MEMS manufacturing activity much more like a job shop than a High Volume Semiconductor facility.  Moreover the MEMS industry is not driven by a handful of applications like the microprocessor, memory storage, power distribution or smart power but literally hundreds if not thousands of unique devices and applications. MEMS market diversity makes its industrial needs more closely akin to those of devices which can either sense, think, and/or act, which results in a challenge for obtaining industry-wide consensus on crosscutting needs.    

MEMS are the second wave of micro manufacturing which emphasizes the mechanical nature of materials often used in semiconductor manufacturing. The three main manufacturing technologies for MEMS are: Bulk Micromachining, Sacrificial Surface Micromachining and HARM or High Aspect Ratio Micromachining. Both Bulk Micromachining and Sacrificial Surface Micromachining use materials similar in nature to semiconductor materials for the most part but HARM based products have exceptionally larger materials selection (including plastics).

The MEMS roadmap documents the evolution of industrial needs as MEMS continue to mature in their core applications, which include ink jet printer technology, pressure sensors, inertial sensors, and image projection, and continues to expand to new emerging applications.  Some important outcomes from the study are: (1) the observation of a growing number of MEMS foundries and design houses, resulting in a business model based on fab-less (virtual fab) or a fab-lite approach, and (2) a growth in the number of companies that specialize in device testing.  These changes are driving discussions and building consensus in the industry for the need of standardized protocols for materials and device characterization calibration and test.  

Over the next 5 to 10 years we expect to see a continued growth in both existing and emerging applications and the integration of multiple functionalities. We also expect to see continued growth in equipment, methods, and standards for materials and device testing.  These trends and the needs that are arising from them are documented in this report.

The complete report provides a full coverage of emerging and disruptive technologies across the electronics industry:  Order 2015 iNEMI Roadmap today.


Date of Publication:
Apr 7, 2015
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