MEMS pioneer wins SEMI Europa prize

October 10, 2013 // By Peter Clarke
MEMS pioneer wins SEMI Europa prize
Benedetto Vigna, general manager of the analog, MEMS and sensors group at STMicroelectronics NV, has won the prestigious European SEMI award for 2013 in recognition of his contributions to the MEMS industry.

MEMS, or microelectromechanical systems, are complex systems, usually fabricated in silicon, that can act as sensors or actuators and interface to electronic systems and have done much to improve test, measurement, safety and latterly the functionality of mobile devices.

Vigna has been driving ST's MEMS strategy for a number of years and helped take ST's MEMS-related sales revenue above $1 billion in 2012 and clear market leader an $11 billion market, according to market research firm Yole Developpement. ST increased its MEMS sales by 10 percent in 2012 in line with the total MEMS market's expansion and while the overall market for chips fell by about 2 percent, As a result ST grabbed a lead of about $150 million over its nearest rival Bosch. ST’s share in the MEMS mobile and handset market increased to 48 percent in 2012, more than twice that of its closest competitor (18 percent), according to research firm IHS.

"Vigna’s insight and drive remain critical to the MEMS revolution; he exemplifies the leadership qualities needed to move the industry forward," said Heinz Kundert, president of the European division of industry organization SEMI.

Vigna joined STMicroelectronics’ R&D Labs in 1995, and began the company's technical development efforts in MEMS. In 2001 he became director of the MEMS business unit working on accelerometers and gyroscopes as ST made a commitment to the MEMS market. And in 2007 Vigna's responsibilities were increased to include sensors, RF, analog, mixed-signal, interface and audio ICs.

Vigna has filed more than 170 patents on micromachining to date. The European SEMI Award was presented at the Semicon Europa exhibition Oct. 8, 2013 in Dresden, Germany.

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