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Differences of opinion. Market research firms don’t yet see the explosive growth forecast by Bryzek and others. Source: TSensors Summit. one device, one process, one package, one test system. Then Analog Devices followed by STMicroelectronics started moving towards process platforms that could build multiple products. Now InvenSense is a fabless MEMS company that is opening its standard processes to others and has had several multiproject wafer runs,” said Bryzek. With foundries such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. and Globalfoundries Inc. entering into MEMS manufacturing there is the potential for the fabless-foundry business model to develop along similar lines to those followed in conventional ICs, albeit with multiple manufacturing platforms, rather than a single dominant CMOS offering. However at the same time Bryzek thinks that novel materials and manufacturing methods will also be significant in the future of MEMS. “This could involve 3Dprinting of semiconductor sensors and packages. It may be possible to print VLSI sensor arrays, batteries and energy scavangers using roll-to-roll manufacturing.” There is no doubt a trillion sensors per year would be enough volume to persuade companies to build dedicated facilities rather than just repurpose older 200-mm wafer fabs. Bryzek estimates that one trillion sensors in silicon would require 130 million 200mm diameter ASIC wafers and 260 million 200mm MEMS wafer. If they were constructed using 3D printing methods using a 12mm by 25mm strip one trillion sensors would require 300 million square meters of substrates. So what could prevent Bryzek’s vision of an abundant MEMS-enabled future? “Energy is a challenge. To power trillions of sensors requires energy and per unit it will have to be reduced from today’s levels. It will need to be derived from light, vibration, thermal energy scavangers. Particularly we need to reduce the energy to power radios by a factor of 100 to allow them to be powered by scavenging,” he said. But radio communication is also likely to be a challenge. “There is not enough bandwidth to support a trillion discrete radios. The wireless center at University of California Berkely is working on nextgeneration wireless technology but many technologies will resist quick development.” And then there is the data processing that a trillion sensors implies. However, overall Bryzek feels the biggest challenges may come from legal and moral issues and public resistance to what could be massive social change but a change that may be required to provide the necessities of life to all on this planet. Bryzek said there would clearly be privacy issues where sensor swarms could detect brainwaves and other cues to extract information about a subject’s mood. Sensor roadmap Bryzek states that one purpose of the Trillion Sensor Summit was to develop a roadmap for MEMS and sensor development to try and guide cooperation and development. “I invited visionary speakers to attend. The next step is for us to create working groups to identify technology platforms that support multiple applications and to work out what needs to be done to ease the path to volume commercialization. We will then publish that as a book to stimulate development and funding.” Each working group will have a chair person and several contributors responsible for contributing their chapter for the book. Bryzek said he hopes to see the first revision of the TSensors Roadmap before the next US TSensors Summit in October 2014. A one-day TSensors summit is scheduled to take place on February 21, 2014, in Tokyo Japan, with events to follow in China in August, in Germany in September and in the US in October of 2014. Bryzek’s long-term view shows how the MEMS market is growing faster than the general semiconductor market. Source: Janusz Bryzek. www.electronics-eetimes.com Electronic Engineering Times Europe December 2013 11


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