@Rob - thanks for the comment. I think I answered the first part of your question in my other responses. But for your second question, MEMS is truly an international and very diversified industry that spans a spectrum of markets and applications. Therefore you'll find MEMS companies and companies in the MEMS supply chain everywhere. That being said, there are some hubs of MEMS around the world. In the US, they are in Silicon Valley (mainly) followed by Boston; as well as in Texas (Dallas/Austin); AZ (Phoenix/Tempe); PA (Pittsburgh - my hometown); to name a few... Internationally, Europe is a hot-bed for MEMS and that is why we are hosting our first MEMS Executive Congress Europe on 20.March in Zurich - www.memscongress.com for more info - we are featuring ONLY EU speakers and keynotes at this senior-level event.
@Dave - YES - MEMS is big in consumer - that's why CEA invited us (MEMS Industry Group - MIG) to host the first-ever MEMS TechZone at CES this week: http://www.memsindustrygroup.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageID=4057
and you can also see the aforementioned MEMS in Machine for a bigger list.
@Charles - I am pretty sure that those MEMS accelerometers are in nearly EVERY laptop now - they were originally in IBM laptops (when IBM made laptops!) but now b/c of the pricepoint I am pretty sure you'll see it in most. Now laptops have other MEMS inside of them, including MEMS microphones. You may want to check out the MEMS Industry Group (MIG) list of "MEMS in the machine" to see where else you can find MEMS:
@Alex Your post is making me blush. Thank you for the kind words and yes, I will try to be more bold in my exclamations of how amazingly frickin' awesome MEMS is; just like in "the Graduate" when the old guy gave advice to Dustin Hoffman, instead of "Plastics" one should invest in MEMS; it truly will be everywhere. See you at CES!
I recall that MEMS-based accelerometers we're supposed to get big in laptops, as a means of shutting down a hard drive when the computer falls. Any sense of what percentage of laptops now use this technology?
Author Karen Lightman is being too modest. She's a MEMS heavyweight herself, as Managing Director of the MEMS Industry Group. I refer you to her bio, here. The MEMS events sponsored by the group, which will take place the week of Jan. 8 at CES in Las Vegas, are listed here.
I have a couple questions about the trajectory of MEMS. First, in what industries is MEMS getting traction. I would imagine health care equipment would be huge. Are there other industries that are going full steam?
I know that the Silicon Valley companies are still attractive to venture capitalists. To some extent Silicon Valley has the benefit of a physical center. People living in the same neighborhood get to know each other. Is there a geographical center for MEMS that helps boost investment and adoption?
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.