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Designers and developers of RF systems better take notice that the domain of high frequency circuits is about to be invaded by micromachines!   The processes of micromachining and the devices they create, MEMS (microelectromechanical systems for those who are acronym-challenged), have been the subject of intense development for over the two decades.  Micromachining consists of a diverse set of deposition and etching processes that supplement the traditional toolset used in semiconductor manufacturing.  These varied techniques include many unique processes such as bulk and surface micromachining, wafer bonding, deep reactive ion etching, LIGA, and micromolding.  Whichever the process, the result is the same: Micromachining creates three-dimensional structures on the surface of the IC that is in essence a micro-sized machine.  Rather than creating devices that operate on electron flow, MEMS are mechanical structures that utilize motion to sense their environment or actuation to control their environment. 

Common MEMS and Micromachined Devices

Projector Mirrors Project Mirrors

Ink Jet Nozzle
Ink Jet Nozzle

Pressure Sensor
Pressure Sensor

Accelerometers
Accelerometers

The use of micromachining and ME MS for non-RF applications has become ubiquitous in the twenty-first century.  Last year, >350 million micromachined ICs were produced for ink-jet printers.  Companies are now producing small, highly reliable MEMS sensors such as low-cost accelerometers for air bag systems and pressure sensors which can monitor your tire pressure or your blood pressure (sometimes the two are related).  On the more complex side, arrays of 1,310,000 hinged, microscopic mirrors now create high resolution, full color images for use in portable video projectors, high-definition televisions, and even movie cinema projectors.  MEMS have also been an enabling technology for the development of optical routers for high-speed Internet access.  MEMS technology covers a very broad range of engineering disciplines and applications.

In this vast array of products and technologies, MEMS have proven their ability to create value through product differentiation.  As such, it is no surprise that a MEMS market survey by Cahners projects an industry growth of 50% a year.  A significant portion of this growth is slated to be MEMS for RF applications.  To this end, MEMtronics Corporation was formed to provide you with the highest quality, innovative MEMS technology at affordable prices.

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