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Microsensors have become an essential element in many measurement systems, finding countless applications in industrial monitoring, factory automation, the automotive industry, transportation, telecommunications, computers and robotics, environmental monitoring, health care, and biotechnology. A substantial driving force behind this progress comes from developments in semiconductor fabrication technology and in electronic signal processing. With the development of microprocessors and application-specific integrated circuits, signal processing has become cheap, accurate, and reliable. Sensors continue to lag behind electronics in terms of cost/performance ratios, however, due largely to the lack of general-purpose sensor elements that can be manufactured and packaged in the same way as electronic components. There are many commercial opportunities in the sensor area, and many new sensor technologies and devices are being developed. New products and companies are emerging from this effort, stimulating further investment in this area. Application of sensors brings new dimensions to products in the form of performance, convenience, cost savings, and increased safety.
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