MEMS Supports Low-Power Wireless Needs to Enable the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is forecast to be a multi-billion unit market where wireless connectivity is everywhere, enabling people to monitor and measure anything from a smartphone or a tablet. Proximity sensing will enable your home to sense when you are arriving or leaving and adjust temperature or lights, health sensing will enable more proactive monitoring of exercise and general health conditions and inventory monitoring will enable distributors to more effectively stock their customers.

The net result? An improved lifestyle, less waste and improved efficiency.

MEMS Devices Can Meet Wireless Needs

Sand9_LowPowerWirelessTo meet the high-volume demands of IoT, wireless-everywhere ecosystems will require devices that are reliable, low cost, low power and very small in size. And at the heart of these devices will be a component that provides the timing that enables all communication to occur.

In the past, this timing component has typically been manufactured from quartz crystals, a nearly century-old technology. While quartz is capable of meeting low power requirements, its fundamental mechanical properties mean that it cannot be overmolded and co-packaged without significant, and uncertain, performance degradation. This makes it highly unsuitable for integration into low power connectivity ICs, which is necessary in order to meet the low cost and small size requirements of the IoT. In addition, quartz is mechanically fragile and can suffer performance degradation or failure in applications where it is subject to shock and vibration.

Sand 9 MEMS Pushing the IoT

Sand 9 MEMS devices, in contrast, are several orders of magnitude more resistant to shock and vibration than quartz, making them suitable for applications such as sports equipment and outdoor environments.

Sand 9 has developed a disruptive MEMS technology that not only achieves the system performance levels needed for the IoT, but is 50% smaller than the smallest conventional quartz devices. Most importantly, Sand 9’s MEMS timing devices can be overmolded without impacting performance, providing the size reduction and low cost required to enable the IoT.

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