Microelectromechanical-systems (MEMS), microsystems technology (MST), and micromachines are roughly synonymous terms applied in the United States, Europe, and Japan respectively, to manufacturing technologies that are enabling the development of many exciting microscale or microminiaturized products. For convenience here, the terms are lumped together and labeled M3. In the parlance of management science, M3 technologies are:
- exogenous (they originate from outside an existing or familiar frame of reference); and
- disruptive (they are revolutionary rather than evolutionary).
These technologies are creating a second micromanufacturing revolution - the first being microelectronics - as well as a fertile environment for discontinuous innovations that will revitalize existing industries and generate new markets.M3 technologies:
- enable the manufacture of products that would otherwise be impossible toproduce;
- improve manufacturing efficiencies by as much as an order of magnitude;
- improve critical performance aspects of current products by as much as anorder of magnitude; and/or
- improve product quality by reducing component size and number.
Online access to SPIE eBooks is limited to subscribing institutions.