Insights from industry

Developing New Opportunities for MEMS & Sensors

To keep up with the rapidly changing industry and keeping MEMS and Sensor developments at the forefront of the technology news SEMI recently acquired MEMS & Sensors Industry Group  to create new opportunities within this industry.

In this interview, Heidi Hoffman, Senior Director, Segment Marketing, SEMI talks to AZoSensors about what to expect at the upcoming MEMS & Sensors Executive Congress on November 1st and 2nd.

The MEMS & Sensors Industry Group (MSIG) was acquired by SEMI as a partner last year. How has that relationship been going?   

The integration has gone smoothly and as with every acquisition comes the opportunity to enhance capabilities on both sides. We have worked hard to expand on the benefits of SEMI-MSIG membership, including more global programs with high-level speakers, a greater breadth of information available to members and other opportunities to find customers and suppliers.

The industry is changing rapidly and keeping MEMS and sensors developments at the forefront of technology news continues to be an emphasis for the worldwide SEMI-MSIG team.

We give our members many opportunities to feature their products and developments in industry publications and events.

SEMI and MEMS & Sensors Industry Group logos

Figure 1: SEMI and MEMS & Sensors Industry Group logos

We recently hosted the European MEMS & Sensors Summit in Grenoble, France and had a great turnout for a high-level, excellent discussion of MEMS, sensors, imaging, and related technologies like advancements in test and deep reactive ion etch (DRIE).

Keynote presentation at European MEMS & Sensors Summit, September 2017.  One of several events around the world bringing together the key players in MEMS & Sensors

Figure 2: Keynote presentation at European MEMS & Sensors Summit, September 2017.  One of several events around the world bringing together the key players in MEMS & Sensors

New electronics systems and sub-systems are re-configuring the traditional supply chains. No longer do OEMs only talk to their sub-systems suppliers. Many now reach directly to component, equipment and materials suppliers for next-generation transformations for their own products, and the expanded SEMI can meet many of their needs.

The resources and support of a large, industry-respected and representative association, such as SEMI, opens the door to enormous possibilities.

SEMI is also offering more technology to its members by co-locating related technology events. For example, the MEMS & Sensors Technical Congress (MSTC) in 2018 will be co-located with 2018FLEX, the flagship event for another SEMI Strategic Association Partner- FlexTech.

FLEX has featured printed sensors on flexible substrates for over 15 years, as well as advanced integration technology. Thus, MSTC attendees will get added benefits from their attendance at MSTC this coming year.

Incidentally, the Call for Papers for both events are currently open for those who wish to provide presentations on their technical developments. Visit for more information.

You’re making the final plans for the MEMS & Sensors Executive Congress, which will be held on November 1 and 2. Can you tell us about the plans for that conference and some of the speakers and sessions?

MEMS & Sensors Systems: Creating Sixth Senses is the theme for this year’s event, and the new technologies being covered go beyond the imagination. The MEMS & Sensors Executive Congress is the only MEMS and sensors event where executives can sit with end-user customers to exchange ideas and information, engage with competitors, and network and relax with colleagues.

To give you an idea of what’s planned, below is a list of the sessions and speakers:

  • Session 1:  MEMS & Sensors:  What the Future Holds -  technology & market forecasts from A.M. Fitzgerald & Associates and Yole Developpement
  • Session 2:  MEMS & Sensors for Health, Medical and Bio Applications – Yole, Takscan, Proteus Digital Health, Cactus Semiconductor and Nanomedical Diagnostics
  • Fireside Chat:  Investments and MEMS – who funds what and why? – Innovative MicroTech, 2 The Point Advisors, Woodside Capital Partners and Artiman Ventures
  • Keynote 2:  Sensors, Cars and Road Ahead by NXP
  • Session 3:  MEMS & Sensors:  Enabling New Applications – Kionix, SoilCares, Vesper, VTT, and Infineon
  • TechTalk: Creating Sixth Senses – from Bosch Sensortec and TDK/InvenSense

Over 150 representatives from industry, academia, scientific bodies, and the media have already registered.

The media attends this conference to have rare one-on-one time with a number of industry leaders all in one place.

Attendees mingle during a break at MSEC 2016 in Scottsdale.

Figure 3: Attendees mingle during a break at MSEC 2016 in Scottsdale.

The event, originally located in Napa, California, has been re-located to Hayes Mansion in San Jose, California. We are disappointed not to be going to the iconic wine-producing region of Napa, but want to give the people and places in Napa ample time to recover from the devastating fires.

We will provide several opportunities for attendees to contribute to the relief efforts for the people of that area.

Other than events, what are some of the other activities at SEMI | MSIG?

SEMI-MSIG exists to advance the business interests of the MEMS and sensors industries. Sometimes that means working inside the industry, and other times it means focusing on outside stakeholders.

Events appeal to both audiences, but we also provide market and technical data, webinars, technical committees, standards development, advocacy with governments around the world, and workforce development activities.

As the events are so visible we are often defined by them. However, there are over 900 standards created over the last 40+ years by SEMI committees that enable fabs to work.

From wafer size, to carrier specifications, to the secure transfer of information, the standards work is critical to the manufacturing of many of the MEMS and sensors in the market today at prices that can drive the growth of electronics.

Companies are constantly recommending new areas to standardize and we form and manage the committees and processes.

Members, and non-members, who wish to get involved or know more should talk to a SEMI staff person at one of the upcoming events.

SEMI-MSIG also has a robust industry research and statistics group that provide market data on semiconductor and related industry manufacturing.

Recently, we released a new report with details on all of the 200mm fabs. This is another area where being a not-for-profit organization, focused on industry growth, can provide unbiased and impartial information.

SEMI has a robust industry and research group

Figure 4: SEMI has a robust industry and research group

In addition to globalization of the MSIG brand through coordination with SEMI’s existing seven world-wide regions, additional products and services are also being contemplated.

These include funded R&D programs using the FlexTech consortium model, roadmaps, technology landscapes, and a periodic publication from our CTOs on regionally important topics, among others.

More information on these and other opportunities will be made available in the near future.

What is your vision for SEMI | MSIG in the next few years?

MEMS and sensors are important parts of the rapidly evolving electronics supply chain. These tiny devices provide the senses for our electronic devices in terms of hearing, sight, balance, direction, and even smell.

As our members focus on designing and selling higher-performing products, we are dedicated to providing the marketing on an industry level.

We want to add opportunities for companies to connect, collaborate and innovate, and prosper and grow.

We want to be the go-to organization for companies looking for information on the MEMS and sensors industries.

We envision continuing to provide forums for our members to help them communicate their products and missions and act as a collaboration hub where suppliers meet customers, investors, and designers.

We want to drive and define common standards which provide the foundation for advancing the state of the art in manufacturing.

In a nutshell, we will be judged on whether or not we provided better business outcomes for our members by providing them a platform for communicating about their products and missions.

About Heidi Hoffman

Heidi Hoffman has been communicating about high technology at the association level for her entire career, primarily focused on flat panel displays, lasers, semiconductors, MEMS, sensors and flexible hybrid electronics (FHE) sectors.Heidi Hoffman

It is a privilege to work with so many great people and companies, while providing them opportunities to succeed.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily represent the views of Limited (T/A) AZoNetwork, the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and Conditions of use of this website.


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