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Aug 1st, 2012
 
MEMS everywhere: opportunity moves from devices to ecosystems
 
MEMS companies have made great progress on making the low cost sensors and actuators that enable the first wave of volume consumer applications in games and smart phones. Now comes the next step of integrating the sensors with other components and more sophisticated software, to make them easier for systems makers to use, and enable the next generation of context-aware applications.
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The mobile consumer market’s adoption of relatively simple sensor functions has spurred explosive growth in sales of MEMS devices. Now the key strategies are moving to building the ecosystems that will make it easier for systems makers to add much more intelligent sensor functions to their products. This typically means collaborations across the supply chain, with much more focus on the integration and software needed to embed smart sensing in a much wider range of applications. In this issue we look at some of these innovative examples of such software-centric integration into ecosystems, at multiple levels along the value chain, ranging from a Freescale/Microsoft sensor platform, to Movea embedded inertial software on processors, to STMicroelectronics’ multi-microphone software
applications, to the European DIRHA project to develop voice-controlled home automation.

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