In a mature industry all elements of the supply chain are available and are more or less in balance. Mainstream technologies are defined and well supported by a chain of specialist companies. Those specialist companies, offering services ranging from consultancy to manufacturing subcontracting, are an essential element in the industrialization. There specialization and dedication to one or a few elements in the technology increases professionalism and efficiency. The MOEMS industry however, is still in its infancy. After the birth and growth of many companies aiming at development of products, the appearance of companies aiming at the production of components and systems, we see know the first companies concentrating on the delivering of services to this industry. We can divide them in the like :
* Design and Engineering companies
* Assembly and Packaging providers
* Design and simulation software providers
For manufacturing suppliers and customers the lack of industry standards and mainstream technologies is a serious drawback. Insight in availability and trends in technology is important to make the right choices in the field of industrialization and production. This awareness was the reason to perform a detailed study to the companies supplying commercial services in this field. This article focuses on one important part of this study: packaging and assembly. This tends to remain a bottleneck at the end of the design cycle, often delaying and sometimes preventing industrialization and commercialization.
For nearly all MEMS/MST products literally everything comes together in the packaging and assembly. This is the area of full integration: electrical, mechanical, optical fluidic, magnetic etc. functionalities come together. The problems associated with the concentration of functionalities forms a big headache for the designer. Conflicting demands, of which functionality versus economics is only one, and technical hurdles have to overcome. Besides that, packaging and assembly is from nature application specific and solutions found are not always transferable from one product to another. But designers can often benefit from experience from other and general available technologies. A number of companies offer packaging and assembly services for MEMS/MST and this report give typical examples of those commercial services. The companies range from small start-ups, offering very specialized services, to large semiconductor packaging companies, having production lines for microsystem based products.
Selecting the proper packaging method may tip the scales towards a product success or towards a product failure, while it nearly always present s a substantial part of the cost of the product. This is therefore is not a marginal concern, but a crucial part of the product design.
The presentation will also address mayor trends and technologies. Finally, the article provides sufficient levels of classification and categorisation for various aspects for the technologies, in specific, and the industry, in general, to provide particularly useful insights into the activities and the developments in this market. With over 50 companies studied and assessed, it provides an up to date account of the state of this business and its future potential.