Monday, March 30, 2009

Newest Energy Scavenging Approach

For quite a while the idea of powering mobile device using energy harvesting has been around.
The main problem with this so far has been the small power that could be generated with these harvesting circuits.
Some researchers have now presented a new approach that might make this more feasible in the future. It is based on piezoelectric zinc-oxide nanowires aound 2-3 um in diameter.
Due to their small dimensions these nanowires promise a power generation per volume significantly higher than achieved with current techniques.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

MEMS-based fingerprint sensors

A new ultrasound-MEMS-based fingerprint sensor has recently been presented by a company called Sonavation.

They claim the "Sonic Slide 3000" is the worlds thinnest fingerprint sensor with superb accuracy and low power requirements.
The sensor is based on a piezoceramic array with an imaging zone of 9.6mmx0.4mm creating a 256 shade geryscale image of the finger.

The applicaiton maybe questionable, with more and more fingerprint-based applications all around us, but the technology is rally interesting as there could be lots of other applications for it.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Yole publishes Overview of Top 30 MEMS Manufacturers 2008

Yole has recently published a preliminary overview of the top 30 MEMS manufacturers for 2008.

One of their main conclusions is that the financial crisis effects each MEMS device and hence each manufacturer differently. The more mature and closer related to the automotive sector a MEMS device is the bigger the impact.

Even though, Bosch seems to have done pretty well moving up to 4th place.


Monday, March 23, 2009

MEMS Clusters in Germany

I have been looking at a couple of MEMS clusters, especially in Germany lately and realized that they exist pretty much all over the country.
Many of the clusters have a kind of "one-stop-shop" approach to attract more customers.
  • MST-Cluster, in Bavaria, southern Germany, with around 50 members
  • MST-BW, with a total of 5 member companies in southwestern Germany
  • MSTBW, in southwestern Germany with around 45 members
  • Fanimat, with around 20 members near Jena in eastern Germany
More to follow

Saturday, March 21, 2009

MEMS company listing by the MIG (MEMS Marketplace)

MIG (The MEMS Industry Group) has started a new web-portal called "MEMS Marketplace",
an online portal that will serve as a matchmaker for companies in the entire MEMS supply chain, from material suppliers to OEMs.

This certainly sounds interesting as it could make life for people in the MEMS and related businesses much easier to identify suppliers, potential collaborators etc.
At the moment the directory however is rather US-centric with only a couple of non-US companies in the directory and it only lists companies which are members of the MIG.
This will likely put potential users of the portal off as in fact it does not cover the entire MEMS supply chain, but only a small part of it, namely only companies willing to pay to be included in this directory.

In conclusion: Great idea, but opening the portal to non-MIG member-companies would in my opinion greatly benefit the directory.


MEMS sensor for explosives

A new method to detect explosives below their explosive limit has been developed by the University of Tennessee, ORNL, and the Technical University of Denmark.
It uses a thin silicon cantilever with integrated trackes used to both heat the cantilever and measure it's heating profile.
As the temperature profile depends on the nature of the materials condensed onto the cantilevers and is significantly different for explosives and non-explosives, it can be used to identify explosives.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

iSuppli webinar for automotive MEMS sensors

On the 2nd of April iSuppli will hold one of their monthly webinars, this one looking at the automotive MEMS sensor market.
These webinars tend to give a short but good overview of the respective areas.

The Perfect Automotive Storm: How Will Sensor Makers Ride it Out?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

MEMS sensors for Food Inudstry

It's interesting to see that MEMS sensors are now also being picked up by the food industry for
  • Vibration monitoring
  • Pipeline integrity sensing
  • Electronic nose
  • Magnetic sensors
  • and many more
MEMS are entering more and more markets and in the not too distant future we are likely to see them in every aspect of our life.

Link to article