MEMS industry execs attending the annual MEMS Executive Congress last week were rapt by presentations and panel discussions by leading innovators in automotive, bio/medical, consumer electronics, mobile communications and energy. Buoyed by optimistic forecasts for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) devices such as accelerometers and multi-axis gyros-increasingly used in mobile handsets and video games-they engaged with keynote speaker Dr. Mauro Ferrari, professor and director of The Division of NanoMedicine and Deputy Chairman of The University of Texas Department of Biomedical Engineering, whose proteomic NanoChips and multi-stage drug-delivery systems may one day ‘cure cancer.’
“We set an attendance record at this year’s MEMS Executive Congress and attracted an impressive global audience to boot!” exclaimed Karen Lightman, managing director of MEMS Industry Group, the event’s host organization. “In part it’s because we are experiencing a technology convergence in MEMS: sensors made for automobiles-extremely complex systems requiring the highest levels of safety and reliability-are being used for healthcare devices such as heart monitors and 3D motion tracking. MEMS-based energy harvesters are being utilized in consumer and industrial systems, and they may one day be used in more energy-efficient, even all-electric, automobiles. And with MEMS sensors opening up greater data collection, we will one day see things we haven’t even imagined in applications such as mobile phones.”
Highlights of MEMS Executive Congress included:
Keynote by Dr. Shoichi Narahashi, executive research engineer, NTT DOCOMO Research Laboratories, on the cause-effect relationship between burgeoning multimedia services and requirements for future mobile terminals;
Keynote by Dr. Mauro Ferrari on applications of nanotechnology in cancer detection and treatment, regenerative medicine, cardiovascular medicine and infectious diseases;
An Automotive Panel debating the criticality of MEMS in controlling safety, efficiency and emissions-and predicting the eventual winner between hybrid-electric Vs all-electric vehicles;
A Bio/medical Panel exhorting MEMS device makers to help them leverage sensors already proven for safety and reliability in automotive for a whole host of healthcare applications;
An Energy Panel on the importance of MEMS in energy harvesting, especially in infrastructure installations in which cost reductions are paramount;
A Consumer Electronics Panel citing the most important factor for MEMS in CE apps: it’s all about the cost!
And a Market Analyst Panel in which experts assessed the state of MEMS in 2009 and forecast emergent and resurgent growth areas in 2010 and beyond.