One thought lingers for me today from MEMS Executive Congress US 2014.
I heard it said a few years ago, by Rob O’Reilly, a MEMS Industry Group Hall of Famer from ADI, and I heard it again from Peter Merz, whose company, X-FAB, was honored in an open voting process at MEC 2014 as MEMS Foundry of the Year . (Congratulations Dr. Merz / X-FAB, and kudos to you Rob!)
What I heard from Peter in relation to our conversation at MEC US 2014 is this: “MEMS Packages are not just mechanical embodiments anymore, but have functionality built in (e.g. microphone acoustic chambers, IR optics like filters and lenses, mechanical decoupling, etc.).”
The package is as interesting as the present that comes inside because, per Rob, in MEMS, the package is the device. (A meme that stuck in my head a few years ago and never left.)
The thought that lingers is that, along with the Three Sisters kind of heterogeneous integration I described in an earlier post (silicon ASIC, silicon MEMS, compound semi photonics), and that Rob expounded upon in a recent SEMICON West presentation (“Heterogeneous solutions will help to reduce the size and cost of sensor fusion applications”), there’s yet another present for us to explore under the heterogeneous integration tree.
And that present is the package. Packaging in MEMS is as interesting as what’s wrapped inside because, for most MEMS devices, the package is as much an active part of the functional device, as much a part of the active system, as is a MEMS microphone chip and its accompanying ASIC.
There’s much more to explore on this topic with Rob, Peter, and other experts in the field; until then, the sun has set on my coverage of MEMS Executive Congress US 2014, the moon is out over the desert, and there’s a coyote yipping from across that dry wash. Hear it?
From Pittsburgh, PA, thanks for reading. ~ PFW