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INSTRUMENTATION • ELECTRONICSSECTION TITLE


OFENGINEERING E


THEFUTURE


ngineers have been using electronic design automation (EDA) software for many years to build integrated electronics with a very high rate of


success. In fact, it has become rare for a new integrated circuit product to require more than a couple of iterations before entering mass production. Tis is largely a result of the robustness and reliability of the simulation and verification tools available on the market today. By contrast, new products in the MEMS


market routinely require many iterative design cycles. Tis is not because the physics involved are not well understood; but rather because the tools available for simulation are not efficient enough to allow for full device and system verification at the rate required to keep up with the blistering pace of technology development, particularly in the consumer electronics market. An excellent example of this challenge can be found in the fingerprint sensor industry, where mobile device OEMs are requiring more and more flexibility with regard to where they can integrate the sensor. Displays are now expanding to encompass the entire front of the device, edge-to-edge, leaving existing capacitive sensing technologies without a place to reside except for the back of the device. Enter the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor – a device that is not only capable of imaging the ridges of a finger through the OLED display in a phone, but also of determining if the finger is actually a finger, and whether it is connected to a living person. Tese capabilities have set the stage for ultrasonic transducers, and specifically a MEMS variety called piezoelectric micromachined ultrasonic transducers (PMUT), to corner the consumer electronics market.


Ryan Diestelhorst discusses the technology that is accelerating the future of IoT sensor design


When it comes to fingerprint sensors, the future of engineering has arrived


www.engineerlive.com 15


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