janusz Bryzek: The trillion-sensor man: Part 2: Page 2 of 3

November 11, 2013 //By Peter Clarke
janusz Bryzek: The trillion-sensor man: Part 2
Janusz Bryzek, vice president of MEMS and sensor solutions at Fairchild Semiconductor, has a vision that sensor shipments will hit a trillion units per year. In Part 2 of this interview he looks at how changes in manufacturing could help but also makes the case for a sensors roadmap.

than the general semiconductor market. Source: Janusz Bryzek.

So what could prevent Bryzek's vision of an abundant MEMS-enabled future?

"Energy is a challenge. To power trillions of sensors requires energy and per unit it will have to be reduced from today's levels. It will need to be derived from light, vibration, thermal energy scavangers. Particularly we need to reduce the energy to power radios by a factor of 100 to allow them to be powered by scavenging," he said.

But radio communication is also likely to be a challenge. "There is not enough bandwidth to support a trillion discrete radios. The wireless center at University of California Berkely is working on next-generation wireless technology but many technologies will resist quick development." And then there is the data processing that a trillion sensors implies.

However, overall Bryzek feels the biggest challenges may come from legal and moral issues and public resistance to what could be massive social change but a change that may be required to provide the necessities of life to all on this planet. Bryzek said there would clearly be privacy issues where sensor swarms could detect brainwaves and other cues to extract information about a subject's mood.

Sensor roadmap

Bryzek states that one purpose of the Trillion Sensor Summit was to develop a roadmap for MEMS and sensor development to try and guide cooperation and development.

"I invited visionary speakers to attend. The next step is for us to create working groups to identify technology platforms that support multiple applications and to work out what needs to be done to ease the path to volume commercialization. We will then publish that as a book to stimulate development and funding."

Each working group will have a chair person and several contributors responsible for contributing their chapter for the book. Bryzek said he hopes to see the first revision of the TSensors Roadmap before the next US TSensors Summit in


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