Microelectromechanical systems have the potential to leverage microelectronics into important additional areas that could be revolutionized by low-cost electronic signal processing, computing, and control. These microsystems could have a profound effect on society but will require synergy among many different disciplines that may be slow in coming. Global leadership and cooperation will be absolutely required if we are to realize the benefits of MEMS in a timely way. This report examines the recent activities in Japan in tackling these problems and contrasts them with U.S. approaches and perceptions. Only by understanding the potential of this emerging field and by working together to overcome its challenges will we ensure the early utilization of MEMS to benefit mankind.


Bernstein, J., S.T. Cho, A.T. King, A. Koutrpenis, P. Maciel, and M. Weinberg. 1993. "A Micromachined Comb-Drive Tuning Fork Rate Gyroscope." In Digest IEEE Microelectromechanical Systems Workshop. Pp. 143-148.

Gabriel, K.J. 1993. "A MEMS Technology Update." In SEMICON/East Workshop on Microelectromechanical Systems: An Emerging Market for the IC Industry. Guckel, H., K.J. Skrobis, T.R. Christenson, J. Klein, S. Han, B. Choi, and B.G. Lovell. 1991. "Fabrication of Assembled Micromechanical Components via Deep X-Ray Lithography." In Digest IEEE Workshop on MicroElectroMechanical Systems. Pp. 74-79.

Payne, R.S., and K.A. Dinsmore. 1991. "Surface Micromachined Accelerometer: A Technology Update." In Digest SAE Meeting (Detroit). Pp. 127-135.

Petersen, K.E. 1982. "Silicon as a Mechanical Material." Proc. IEEE. May: 420-457.

Sampsell, J.B. 1993. "The Digital Micromirror Device and its Application to Projection Displays." In Digest Int. Conf. on Solid-State Sensors and Actuators. Pp. 24-27.

SEMICON Daily News. 1993. TPI Publications. SEMICON/East. 20 October: 1, 4, 8.

Terry, S.C., J.H. Jerman, and J.B. Angell. 1979. "A Gas Chromatographic Air Analyzer Fabricated on a Silicon Wafer." IEEE Trans. Electron Devices. 26, December: 1880-1886.

Wise, K.D. 1991. "Integrated Microelectromechanical Systems: A Perspective on MEMS in the 90s." In Proc. IEEE MicroElectroMechanical Systems Workshop. Pp. 33-38.

Wise, K.D., and K. Najafi. 1991. "Microfabrication Techniques for Integrated Sensors and Microsystems." Science. 254, 29 November: 1335-1342.

Wise, K.D., G.C. Carle, and R.W. Donaldson. 1972. "Microminiature Gas Chromatograph." Patent Disclosure. Stanford University/NASA, June 1972.

Wood, R.A., C.J. Han, and P.W. Kruse. 1992. "Integrated Uncooled Infrared Detector Imaging Arrays." In Digest IEEE Solid-State Sensor and Actuator Workshop. Pp. 132-135.

Published: September 1994; WTEC Hyper-Librarian