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Essential Guide to Semiconductors, The by Jim Turley

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MEMS

MEMS are truly the strangest type of semiconductor. Little understood even by industry insiders, MEMS have a devoted following and a greatly confused reputation. Neither digital nor analog, MEMS aren't even always semiconductors. They might be made of silicon but they don't always conduct electricity in any useful way. MEMS are basically tiny mechanical devices that just happen to be built using chip-manufacturing techniques.

The term MEMS has nothing to do with memory. It's short for micro-electrical mechanical sensor, an awkwardly technical description of how they function. MEMS use tiny gears and levers to move things or sense motion on a microscopic scale. MEMS can sniff chemicals, separate blood cells, or measure acceleration—all functions ...

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