MEMS Is the Word

Our Sensors in Design summit focuses on emerging applications.

Alexander Wolfe

February 7, 2012

2 Min Read
MEMS Is the Word

Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) have stealthily moved from DARPA research to daily use without most of the engineering world taking notice. The devices, which until recently saw service largely as automotive accelerometers to trigger airbags, have busted out big time in the consumer space.

At Design News, we've taken notice. We're running our first live event -- Sensors in Design. It's part of Design West, which has the broadest technical program ever. From March 26 to 29 in San Jose, seven summits are coming together under one roof.

ESC, the legendary Embedded Systems Conference & Exhibition, is joined by the Android Summit, Black Hat, DesignMed, MultiCore DevCon, EDN's Designing with LEDs, and Sensors in Design. You can check out the program here, and register for any and all of the summits.

Our Sensors event features a deep technical program with a focus on applications and actionable design tips for engineers who need to get up the learning curve quickly. That's key because many of you have an immediate need to fold sensors into the consumer products you're designing.

We saw this trend big time in January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. "MEMS are becoming more mainstream, not just with accelerometers in your smartphone and tire pressure monitors in your car, but now you are seeing MEMS magnetometers enabling your GPS to determine what floor you're on inside a building," Karen Lightman, managing director of the MEMS Industry Group, told us. "You'll also see MEMS microphones that can intelligently distinguish between your voice and background noise, and relay the former. I see the future and it's four letters: MEMS."

Karen will be one of our track chairs at the summit, along with sensors experts Alissa Fitzgerald, founder of A.M. Fitzgerald & Associates, and Randy Frank. Our program includes a sensor-focused tablet teardown, robotics showcase, and panels on apps in factories, harsh environments, smart grid, sports, and healthcare.

About the Author(s)

Alexander Wolfe

Alex is Content Director of Design News. Previously, he was Editor-in-Chief of In his more than two decades in the electronics and mechanical engineering sectors, he has served as Managing Editor of Mechanical Engineering magazine and written for, McGraw-Hill's Electronics magazine, and IEEE Spectrum. He spent the 1990s at UBM's Electronic Engineering Times, where he broke the nationally known story of Intel's Pentium floating-point division bug in 1994. Alex has appeared as an industry analyst on CNN, CNBC, Fox News, and MSNBC. He's a frequent panelist and moderator at industry conferences and holds a degree in electrical engineering from Cooper Union. He can be reached at [email protected].

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