World MEMS Test Equipment Markets

This research service provides a detailed analysis of the World MEMS test equipment markets. It covers both inertial and optical MEMS test equipment as well as features a end-user and geographic analysis.
Published: 25 Jan 2008

Customized Solutions to Give way to More Standard Tests in the MEMS Test Equipment Market

With customized micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) test solutions outnumbering standard models, it is vital for test vendors to reduce the costs of their tests to survive in the niche MEMS test equipment market. Current test equipment is priced as high as $1 million, which can deter most MEMS device manufacturers from testing their products. Since customized solutions require vendors to conduct research every time they receive an order, they tend to be expensive. The costs are expected to drop once standard solutions become more prevalent.

Most test equipment perform either electrical testing or mechanical testing, and this lack of versatility increases the cost of individual testing. The technological advancements of MEMS devices have a proportional impact on the growth of the testing market. "The cost of testing mechanical and electrical elements in a system is highly expensive - in today’s market, if it costs around 50 cents to manufacture a chip, it costs almost 40 cents to test it," says the analyst of this research service. "This has led to the promotion of low-cost test equipment, which is driving the market by compelling test vendors to conduct more intensive research in this area."

Customer Awareness Needs to be Boosted for Higher Uptake of Test Equipment

The high costs of MEMS testing discourage most manufacturers from employing it unless the testing is essential. Most end users do not understand the importance of MEMS testing and have low awareness of wafer-level technology or MEMS device testing. "Most semiconductor industry engineers have a mechanical background or an electrical background, which is sufficient to test any type of semiconductor product," notes the analyst. "However, since MEMS consist of both electrical and mechanical components, the testing becomes complex, and not many have the technical training required to perform the tests."

To overcome this issue of customers’ ignorance, test vendors have begun to focus on educating end users on the importance of MEMS testing as well as the benefits they are likely to obtain. Once customers recognize the true value of testing, the adoption rates are expected to increase significantly.

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