Archive for category mems

MEMS Gyroscopes

Enabling a device to orient itself and respond to movement, MEMS gyroscopes have produced the next big technological splash: touch-triggered screens. This is what gives devices like the iPhone their interactive edge. Many manufacturers in the Silicon Valley have switched from conventional microchips to MEMS production, and gyroscopes are poised to be one of the best performers in years to come.

Companies like InvenSense of Santa Clara have devoted themselves entirely to fabricating dual-axis gyroscopes that integrate with handheld devices in order to give them that special something.InvenSense’s gyroscopes don’t just end up in your palm pilot, however.


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Commercial MEMS products

MEMS is an acronym for Micro ElectroMechanical Systems. These techniques employ  nanoparticle technology to create delicate electronic circuits and other mechanical devices that can be manufactured onto a silicon microchip in much the same way that integrated circuits are made.

MEMS technology allows for the construction of high-tech items like extremely tiny sensor chips whose electronics are built-in rather than adhered separately; such chips had been produced before, but at a far greater cost and a far larger size. The newer MEMS chips are both tiny and more cost-effective.

Computer Circuit Board

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What is a MEMS Accelerometer?

Most people are familiar with accelerometers; we use them in our daily lives to measure the rate of acceleration in our vehicles, especially cars. Not only can they be used to evaluate the performance of the drive train and braking systems, but devices like these are especially useful when seeking to illustrate the power or performance ability of a vehicle.

Knowing how fast a vehicle accelerates allows for classifications according to mile time, and lead to attractive descriptions of how quickly a vehicle can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph. What people may not realize about accelerometers is that they can also be used to measure the rate of vibration not only on cars but also buildings, machines, safety installations, and process control systems.

It naturally follows that accelerometers can also be used to detect seismic activity, angles of inclination, and dynamic distance as well as speed. There is also a special sub-category of accelerometers that can actually measure the force of gravity; these devices are known as gravimeters.

Scientists have now refined accelerometer design and sensitivity to the point where small accelerometers can actually be attached to notebooks. These notebooks are then used at earthquake sites to provide both quake measurements as well as a place to immediately write down pertinent information that the accelerometer may reveal while researchers are visiting the quake site.

Surprisingly enough, delicate accelerometers can also be used to track animals. By measuring wavelength frequencies and muscle acceleration, among other things, researchers are able to keep track of an animal’s behavioral patterns even when that animal may be out of sight.

mems accelrometer

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MEMS Devices

MEMS is an acronym for Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems. It combines electrical and mechanical elements together into one piece that measures, to put things into perspective, less than the width of a single human hair.

Essentially, this nanotechnology-derivative allows the “brains” and the “arms and legs” of an operating system to be put onto one small silicon microchip, whereas prior the development of MEMS they were two separate systems that had to be integrated.

Not only does the new one-chip combination allow for streamlined efficiency, it also means lower production costs and more reliability.

Additionally, it has made possible a whole new set of “smart” products that can use the MEMS chip to bridge gaps between various disciplines.


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MEMS Technological Developments

MEMS stands for Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems and if that makes no sense to you, don’t worry—lots of people are just discovering this new technology for themselves.

This unique system combines sensors, actuators, mechanical components, and electronics on one silicon base; essentially it is a type of glorified computer chip.

Typically, microfabrication is used to apply the various elements to their silicon wafer.

The many components that go on the wafer all have their different manufacturing processes: electronics are typically made separately using integrated circuit, or IC, process sequences (this can include BICMOS, CMOS, or Bipolar techniques.) The micromechanical elements, on the other hand, are often micromachined.

This means that a high-tech device, sometimes a laser cutter, etches away parts of the silicon chip, or sometimes areas are added in order to create the end result.With the advent of MEMS technology, the techno-geek dream of having an entire system on one chip has become reality.

Prior to MEMS, two separate components were required to work in tandem: the microelectronics on a silicon chip, and the micromachined mechanical elements in a different format. Combining them into one efficient MEMS system eliminates several steps of production as well as the need for a connector between the two elements.


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