1063-7397/01/3001- $25.00 © 2001 MAIK “Nauka /Interperiodica”
Russian Microelectronics, Vol. 30, No. 1, 2001, pp. 27–28. Translated from Mikroelektronika, Vol. 30, No. 1, 2001, pp. 32–34.
Original Russian Text Copyright © 2001 by Mal’tsev.
The development of new-generation and “critical”
technologies in industrially developed countries is
characterized by fast evolution of so-called microsys-
tems technology (MST) dating back to early in the
1990s. This technology has given rise to the new ﬁeld
of science and technology—microsystems engineering
The onset of MSE means a breakthrough in the area
of microsystems, which can now operate not only
under stationary conditions (within a solid) but also
when an object (or its part) interacts with the environ-
ment in space and time. The underlying idea here is that
modern mass production processes typical of micro-
electronics are applied in the production of conven-
tional devices and mechanisms of increased complexity
used radio engineering, optics, machine building,
instrument making, and biomedicine. Such an
approach makes possible the fabrication of unique ver-
satile, while cheap, devices of micrometer size.
The world-wide dynamics of MST development
was analyzed by the NEXUS organization, which is an
organ of the European Commission. The analysis dem-
onstrated that the MST/MSE market will rise, on aver-
age, by 18% per year in 1996–2002 and will reach
US$38 B in 2002 . The market of leading-edge
MSE devices will grow from US$107 M in 1996 to
US$4.2 B in 2002. These devices include liquid- and
gas-supply microsystems, analytical DNA chips, opti-
cal microswitches and network gates, and microactua-
tors and relays. Unlike early in the 1990s, IT peripheral
devices and biomedical microsystems will be in great
The MST development has been triggered off by the
advent off so-called microelectromechanical systems
(MEMS). In MEMS, galvanic and mechanical cou-
plings are deeply intertwined. In the United States,
impetus to the development of MST was given by the
DARPA Program “MEMS—Microelectromechanical
Systems” [2, 3]. The program includes a series of
projects concerning MST and advanced technologies (a
company engaged in the project appears is parentheses):
(1) Flexible manufacturing systems for special-pur-
pose MEMS (Advanced MicroMachines Incorpo-
(2) Technologies of modular monolithic MEMS-ori-
ented systems (Berkeley Sensor & Actuator Center,
University of California, Berkeley).
(3) Production and application of multisensor micro-
systems (Boeing Defense & Space Group).
(4) Micromechanical arrays of actuators for deform-
able mirrors (Boston University).
(5) Technologies of wide-range microaccelerome-
ters (Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc.).
(6) Production of cheap MEMS-oriented inertial
sensors (Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc. & Boe-
ing North America).
(7) Production of microsystems for medical and bio-
logic research (Lawrence Livermore National Labora-
(8) 3D laser instruments (3D meters) (Revise, Inc.).
(9) “Smart” active surfaces (Sarcos Research Cor-
(10) Precision diagnostic microtools for liquid
MEMS (Sarnoff Corporation).
(11) Vacuum packaging for MEMS (Texas Instru-
(12) Development of microoptomechanical IR
detectors with optical output (University of California,
(13) One-chip mass spectrometer based on a single
microcircuit (Northrop Grumman).
Abroad, MEMS- and MST-related problems are
covered, e.g., in the well-known journal “Mstnews—
International Newsletter on MICROSYSTEMS and
MEMS.” In Russia, starting in 1999, these problems are
considered in the journal
In the framework of the International Advanced
Robotics Program (IARP), the 3rd International Sym-
posium on Microrobots, Micromachines, and Systems
was held in Moscow (November 24–25, 1999). The
ﬁrst two were held in Japan and China, respectively.
Microsystems Engineering: A Great Stride Forward
in Microelectronics Technology
P. P. Mal’tsev
Received June 24, 2000
—The development of new-generation technological and engineering concepts by the example of
“microsystems technology” and “microsystems engineering” approaches is considered.