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September 15th, 2008
MEMS: The next hit for Taiwan's foundries?
Micro-electro mechanical systems (MEMS) are devices incorporating very tiny electronic and mechanical parts into single or multiple chips. MEMS chips are currently found in pressure sensors, accelerometers, gyroscopes, microphones, digital mirror displays, micro fluidic devices, and others, covering a wide range of applications for manufacturing equipment, automation systems, information and communications sectors, aerospace industry, transportation, construction, environmental protection, agriculture, fishery and so forth.
Since the 1960s, semiconductor technologies have been pursuing the road of shrinking the size of chips. All along, players in the industry have also been striving to improve traditional mechanical manufacturing processes and to widen the scope of semiconductor applications. MEMS, an embodiment of all these efforts in a micro device, is taking our daily life to a new dimension.
According to figures from research firm Yole Developpement, the MEMS market will grow to US$120 billion in 2012 from US$40 billion in 2006. For 2008, MEMS unit production will jump 25% to 2.5 billion units, supporting 11% growth in the MEMS materials market, and a 3% increase in overall MEMS equipment, with healthier 9%-12% growth in key sectors like etching and bonding tools.
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