We’d enjoyed this presentation at MEMS Executive Congress – and recently uncovered slides from a similar presentation on semi.org. Dr. Eric Mounier, Senior Technology & Market Analyst, MEMS Devices & Technologies, at Yole Développement, addresses both the challenges and new opportunities for MEMS going forward in this presentation entitled: “The Future of MEMS: a Market & Technologies Perspective.”

As he explains, while the number of connected devices and pricing pressures continue to grow, MEMS solutions are needed for new applications and higher performance requirements. To meet these growing demands, inertial sensor suppliers need to reduce the size of their products while achieving better performance.

But these challenges are proving difficult to overcome. Established manufacturers of accelerometers and gyroscopes have reduced sizes over the years, but MEMS size reductions, for tuning-fork-based designs, are reaching diminishing returns due to physics and device architecture. Dr. Mounier first presents the evolution of accelerometers, which shows sensor sizes generally plateauing:

XLgraph
And, then he presents data from one of the established TFG vendors. Here is the data from his table put into graph form, which shows a similar pattern:

Gyrograph

 

What are the opportunities to address these size and cost issues? As summarized in his conclusions slide below, Dr. Mounier highlights a few different possibilities, which includes Qualtré’s Bulk Acoustic Wave (BAW) resonant sensor as one of their breakthrough technologies:

Conclusions
Yole estimates that by 2019, new approaches to overcoming the size and cost issues could account for 20% of the total MEMS market.

As pointed out by Dr. Mounier in his summary above, Qualtré’s novel BAW technology is based on a breakthrough operating principle — and this approach offers 2-3 times better performance for the same price as traditional tuning fork gyroscopes. You can learn more about our industrial-grade gyroscopes on our product page.

For more about Yole’s perspectives on these challenges and opportunities, their report New Detection Principles & Technical Evolution for MEMS & NEMS, published Oct 14, 2014, looks like it covers this topic in more detail.  And, here’s a link to Dr. Mounier’s presentation again for your reference:  “The Future of MEMS: a Market & Technologies Perspective.”