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MEMS Seen Poised for Rapid Growth

Photonics.com
Oct 2001
NEW YORK, Oct. 8 -- Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology has finally entered a rapid growth phase and is expected to quadruple by 2004, according to a report by Technical Insights. According to the report, MEMS has the potential to revolutionize a multitude of product categories by uniting silicon-based microelectronics and micromachining technology, making possible the production of the complete system-on-a-chip.

The report says the telecommunications segment is expected to increase by more than 30 percent of the total MEMS market in 2005. In this segment, photonic switches, tunable lasers and optical networking filters are the most promising MEMS products. Promising next-generation products include mirror arrays for use in photonic switches, projection systems, and wearable displays; and cellular telephones, relays and biochips. MEMS sensors measure the environment without modifying it, while actuators provide or manage some type of action, often in response to a sensor output.

Sensor sales currently lead the market, but actuator sales will far outpace them by 2005. Actuators cost much more than sensors. Despite the venture capital crunch and recent high-technology market slowdown, investors have remained supportive of MEMS start-ups.



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