Janusz Bryzek: The trillion-sensor man: Part 1

November 07, 2013 // By Peter Clarke
In the first part of this interview Janusz Bryzek, vice president of MEMS and sensor solutions at Fairchild Semiconductor, looks at the motivation for companies, including Fairchild, to enter the MEMS market and provides some insights into why he thinks MEMS sensors shipments will hit a trillion units per year.

Fresh from chairing the Trillion Sensor Summit held at Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif. Janusz Bryzek, vice president of MEMS and sensing solutions at Fairchild Semiconductor, agreed to be interviewed by EE Times Europe .

 

Bryzek, who received his MSc and PhD degrees from Warsaw Technical University, is a well-known serial entrepreneur in the field of MEMS having co-founded SenSym, IC Sensors and NovaSensors in the 1980s. He founded Jyve Inc in March 2009 but it has never got out of stealth mode. Jyve was reportedly working on inertial MEMS technology prior to being acquired by Fairchild Semiconductor Inc. in November 2010.

 

Fairchild is not commercially involved in MEMS at present but its employment of Bryzek has led to speculation that the company is about to make a big-splash entry into the market.

However, Fairchild has a long history of involvement in the MEMS sector, Bryzek pointed out. His company, NovaSensor, was financed by Schlumberger, which also owned Fairchild Semiconductor at the time.

 

Janusz Bryzek, vice president of MEMS and sensor solutions at Fairchild and chair of the Trillion Sensors Summit.

Bryzek told EE Times Europe he is unable to discuss in detail Fairchild's re-entry into the MEMS business in 2014 but that the reason for Fairchild's interest in the market is straightforward: MEMS is a market that is growing much faster than conventional semiconductors and a market that is unlikely to stop growing any time soon. "MEMS is growth at around 15 percent per year – maybe 13 percent maybe 17 percent – while the overall semiconductor market is growing at 3 or 4 percent," he said.

 

This is the same motivation that led Bryzek to call into being and chair the Trillion Sensors Summit. "We wanted to try and foresee what sensor applications are going to push the sensor market from a few billion units per year to a trillion sensors per year within