electronica 2016: Measuring the world with MEMS

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No Internet of Things without sensors. And no sensors for nearly every imaginable application without MEMS. You can admire them all at electronica 2016.

The first MEMS sensors (micro-electro-mechanical sytsems) showed up in larger batch sizes in automotive electronics as the heart of Bosch’s “Electronic Stability Program” (ESP) in the 1980s. Now one has to ask where they are not being used. The special significance of this interdisciplinary technology lies precisely in the enormous scope of its application spectrum. So it is not surprising that they also play a key role at this year’s electronica. Especially in Hall A5.

For example, Bosch Sensoretec, the world’s leading MEMS manufacturer in the consumer electronics sector, is exhibiting at the fair (Hall A5/Stand 106). At the same stand, its “parent” is showing what kind of tiny electromechanical components can now be found in the automobile.

Not far away, STMicroelectronics (Hall A5/Stand 159) is demonstrating how sensors make the world safer, more efficient and more convenient based on several examples.

As the name suggests, Apple supplier SiTime (Hall A5/Stand 278) will show how to keep track of the time down to the microsecond with its MEMS oscillators. Nearby, its direct competitor Microchip (Hall A4/Stand 578) is presenting the DSC6000, the smallest MEMS MHz oscillator with the lowest power consumption.

A pioneer when it comes to MEMS microphones and speakers awaits you at the Knowles stand (Hall A5/Stand 516).

Another company that has been in the MEMS business for quite some time is Analog Devices (Hall A4/Stand 141). 25 years ago, it brought out the ADXL50 acceleration sensor, the world’s first monolithic sensor that could recognize a car crash.

As long as you are in Hall 4, you should stop by the Fraunhofer IPMS stand (Hall A4/Stand 113). A pocket-size MEMS grating spectrometer on display there provides detailed information on solids, liquids and gases by analyzing light in the near infrared range (950 nm to 1,900 nm).

Murata (Hall B5/Stand 107 and Halle A2/Stand 547) is demonstrating MEMS sensors for the healthcare sector, industrial and automotive applications and IoT connectivity.

The AMA Center for Sensors and Measurement (joint exhibition stand in Hall B1) will have a number of exhibitors covering nearly all consumer segments and user industries.

MEMS

MEMS can vary from simple structures having no moving elements, to extremely complex electromechanical systems with multiple moving elements. (Image: Bosch).