PORTLAND, Ore. — The first IEEE microelectromechanical system (MEMS) standard — recently approved by the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) — should be a welcome sight to sensor and system designers swimming in a sea of sensors. IEEE 2700-2014 standardizes the specifications of MEMS and other sensors so designers will no longer have to compare apples to oranges on datasheets.
The standard should also make it easier for sensor hub makers to achieve interoperability among different brands of the same sensor.
“The primary need for the 'IEEE 2700-2014 Standard for Sensor Performance Parameter Definitions' document is to provide a common methodology across the industry to define sensor parameters,” Stephen Whalley, chief strategy officer at the MEMS Industry Group (MIG), told EE Times. “The chipset manufacturers and OEMs who use sensors in their platforms now have a much better and defined way of comparing sensor performance attributes across multiple sensor types and manufacturers.”
Chipset manufacturers and OEMs should be able to achieve better performance, lower costs, and improved scalability, according to Ken Foust, chairman of the IEEE 2700 Working Group.
The standard was defined by the MEMS Technology Working Group and MIG (MEMS Industry Group) with the aim of developing and publishing the “MEMS Chapter” of two roadmaps: International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI)'s and the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS)'s.
“The MEMS Technology Working Group evaluates the ever-advancing performance trends in MEMS device technology, focusing on MEMS for consumer mobile applications such as smartphones and wearables,” said Michael Gaitan, the chairman of iNEMI, ITRS and the MEMS Technology Working Group. In his day job Gaitan leads the Acoustics and Vibration Project in the Nanoscale Metrology Group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
Gaitan told EE Times:
The ultimate goal in technology roadmapping is to identify existing and emerging gaps in manufacturing MEMS. Then once those issues are articulated, a consensus must be developed among the players over the issues that they are willing to cooperate on. In our extensive discussions and from the information gleaned from our workshops we have found that the need for uniformity in MEMS device datasheets and device testing protocols to be an area of need and for cooperation. The partnership between the MEMS device manufacturers and their customers, with the support of the MEMS Industry Group has led to the publication of this new IEEE 2700-2014 Standard for Sensor Performance Parameter Definitions.
The non-profit MIG was one of the driving forces behind the new IEEE 2700-2014 standard, as a service to MEMs manufacturers, OEMs, and system integrators trying to standardize sensor performance and to simulate innovation in consumer devices, especially for Internet of Things (IoT), eHealth devices, the connected automobile, augmented reality, and small wearable devices.
“Standardization in MEMS and sensors is incredibly important to the OEMs and systems integrators that rely on this technology. It also benefits consumers, who demand faster, lower-power, more reliable features on their devices,” Karen Lightman, executive director of MEMS Industry Group, told EE Times. “But it takes collaboration among influential stakeholders such as IEEE-SA, NIST, the [Mobile Industry Processor Interface] MIPI Alliance and our own standards working group to bring new standards to fruition. The IEEE 2700-14 is a prime example. It started with a workshop we held with NIST in 2010. Intel, Qualcomm, MIPI Alliance, and the IEEE SA became involved in a fast-track effort to ratify the standard that we announced.”
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