Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » M »


Short for micro-electromechanical systems, the name for a micro fabrication technology used in making systems-on-a-chip (SoC) that embeds mechanical devices such as fluid sensors, mirrors, actuators, pressure and temperature sensors, vibration sensors and valves in semiconductor chips. MEMS combine many disciplines, including physics, bioinformatics, biochemistry, electrical engineering, optics and electronics.

Typical MEMS devices combine sensing, processing and/or actuating functions to alter the way that the physical world is perceived and controlled. They typically combine two or more electrical, mechanical, biological, magnetic, optical or chemical properties on a single microchip.

MEMS devices are already used in such fields as the automotive industry -- where they are incorporated into airbag and vehicle control; medicine -- where they are used to control medication dosing and control medical devices such as pacemakers; and construction -- where they are used in building materials that can sense changes in environmental stresses.

 In a MEMS system, the integrated circuits (ICs) are considered the thinking part of the system while MEMS provides active perception and control functions. MEMS devices are divided into two different categories: microsensors that detect information and actuators that respond to information.

MEMS are sometimes referred to as microsystems, abbreviated MST.

8 Agenda Apps to Help Students Stay Organized

Webopedia's student apps roundup will help you to better organize your class schedule and stay on top of assignments and homework. Read More »

List of Free Shorten URL Services

A URL shortener is a way to make a long Web address shorter. Try this list of free services. Read More »

Top 10 Tech Terms of 2015

The most popular Webopedia definitions of 2015. Read More »

Java Basics, Part 1

Java is a high-level programming language. This guide describes the basics of Java, providing an overview of syntax, variables, data types and... Read More »

Java Basics, Part 2

This second Study Guide describes the basics of Java, providing an overview of operators, modifiers and control Structures. Read More »

The 7 Layers of the OSI Model

The Open System Interconnection (OSI) model defines a networking framework to implement protocols in seven layers. Use this handy guide to compare... Read More »