MEMS Devices Support Industrial, Test and Measurement Trends Toward Lower Cost, Integration and Miniaturization.

The test and measurement market is facing a revolution. Traditionally, it’s been viewed in two lights. First, offering high performance and high reliability. But there are also perceptions that the market offers high-cost, bulky and single-function products. However, this dynamic is shifting, as evidenced by:

  • Emerging players bringing new lower-cost test and measurement alternatives
  • Mixed domain solutions, such as measurement tools combining oscilloscope and spectrum analyzer features
  • The growth of new market entrants focused on smartphone and tablet add-ons
  • The ongoing miniaturization of test and measurement equipment
  • New levels of flexibility and automation enabled by wireless communication interfaces and software enhancements

MEMS Can Meet Test and Measurement Demands

Sand9_Test&MeasureAnalysts forecast that the Global Test and Measurement market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 24.5 percent through 2015, driven in part by the increasing demand for electronic products. While high-cost equipment remains a potential barrier to market growth, the aforementioned trends are certain to help enable market growth while maintaining the high performance and high reliability that end customers expect.

Supporting this growth are a number of component manufacturers, including the suppliers of timing devices that help enable precision measurements. Given that test and measurement equipment performance is often at least one generation ahead of the products being measured, timing device suppliers are required to provide very low-noise, low-jitter components while maintaining high reliability. In support of trends toward lower cost and miniaturization, test and measurement manufacturers will be looking toward designing in more integrated components as well. Further, more mainstream inclusion of wireless connectivity, combined with the growth in use of smartphone and tablet add-ons, will serve to drive volumes for timing device suppliers.

MEMS Devices Overcome Quartz Shortfalls

Traditionally, timing devices supplied are quartz-based. While suitable for past performance and reliability requirements, quartz timing devices are not suitable for supporting new market trends toward lower cost, integration and miniaturization. Additionally, as equipment becomes more portable, reliability requirements such as shock and vibration will become more stringent to protect against the inevitable dropping of equipment. Test and equipment manufacturers will also demand high performance but at lower power consumption levels to support longer battery life.

Sand 9’s MEMS timing technology offers a compelling alternative to quartz that addresses the high performance and higher reliability requirements of test and measurement equipment suppliers while also supporting needs for lower cost, lower power, integration and miniaturization.

Learn more about how Sand 9 MEMS can benefit new product designs.