MEMS design competition offers USD16,000 in prizes

15 January 2003 -- MEMGen Corporation, a California-based micro-system fabrication company, has launched a micro-device design competition.

The "3-D MEMS Design Challenge" has been enabled by the company's proprietary EFAB micro-manufacturing technology, which allows micro-devices to be designed with commonly available 3-D CAD software tools and fabricated in a matter of a few weeks.

The contest is open to all individuals who have commercial or research interest in micro-device design, manufacturing or use. This includes electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, design contractors, university faculty and students.

The company will award the top entrant and two runners-up with prototypes of their designs. In addition, they will receive cash prizes of USD9,000, USD4,500 and USD2,500.

The overall winner will also receive a SolidWorks Office 2003 3-D CAD package. Entries must be submitted to MEMGen by 15 April 2003, and the winners will be announced on 1 May 2003. The first 25 contestants to submit an application before February 13, 2003, will also receive special gifts.

The submissions will be judged by a panel comprised of independent industry experts, including Al Pisano, Ph.D. of UC Berkeley, Elliott Brown, Ph.D. of UCLA and Marlene Bourne, senior analyst at In-Stat/MDR. Selection will be based on design novelty, creative use of 3-D and commercial utility.

"This competition is the first of its kind for MEMS and micro-scale devices. Until we invented EFAB micro-manufacturing technology, truly 3-D designs were cumbersome, constrained and impractical," said Vacit Arat, president and CEO at MEMGen

"Micro-devices could only be created by experts using exotic silicon micromachining techniques; and even then they took a long time to design and build. The ability to create arbitrary, complex 3-D geometries with tens to hundreds of precision metal layers was a distant dream.

"Those days are over. Our EFAB technology enables a straightforward and intuitive design process, thereby opening micro-device design up to anyone with the need and a little bit of imagination," added Arat.

MEMGen's EFAB technology enables flexibility in 3-D design, allowing devices to be built with multiple layers of metal (tens to hundreds, if required). This enables a wide range of applications, including: RF devices; biomedical devices; sensors and actuators; and optical devices.

The ability of the EFAB process to co-fabricate a package around the MEMS device - essentially building a box around the device - enables low-cost packaging, which can also be hermetically sealed.

MEMGen is headquartered in Burbank, California. For further details about MEMGen's micro-device design competition and full contest rules, please visit www.memgen.com

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