MEMS Testing

Technical Activity Committee on MEMS Testing

TAC Co-Chair:  Ronald D. BLANTON,

Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are miniature electromechanical sensor and actuator systems developed from the mature batch-fabricated processes of VLSI technologies. MEMS have wide applications such as miniature inertial measurement units, biochemical analysis on a chip, arrayed micromanipulation of parts, optical displays and micro-probes for neural recording. The current and increasing success of MEMS stems from its promise of better performance, low manufacturing cost, miniaturization and its capacity for integration with electronic circuits. The MEMS market is conservatively projected to reach between $12 and $14 billion by the year 2000.

The technology trend is towards higher degrees of integration that result in greater capabilities by MEMS products to assess and manipulate their surrounding environment.

Realizing these projections requires that the open problems in design, test, process and package technology be confronted and adequately addressed.

To address adequately the test issues has been the motivation for the creation of this TAC. In general, some existing microelectronics test techniques can be used for testing electrical parts and others are being developed to cope with non-electrical parts of MEMS. However, solutions are needed for MEMS fault modeling, fault simulation, test signal generation and design for test problems, starting from the background on similar digital and analog testing issues, and on MEMS design.

A panel has been held at the 1998 VLSI Test Symposium. A few papers have been presented at previous issues of ITC and ED&TC. In 1998, ITC has 2 sessions dedicated to MEMS Testing, including a MEMS tutorial. The Design, Test and Microfabrication of MEMS/MOEMS Symposium to be held in 1999 will include test issues.