New battery connector capabilities using MEMS – ultra low-power
The smaller device footprint is also beneficial to patients as they
experience less pain during invasive procedures. MEMS I/O connectors have also proven innovative in medical battery connectors,
camera modules and sheet connector I/O applications – such as
those found in sensors for small form-factor, high-density ultrasound connectors.
smaller, low-power consumption connectors that deliver higher
performance than larger components. Additionally, MEMS manufacturing processes reduce time-to-market and the cost of producing plastic-injected mold and dye stamping terminals as found in
MEMS technology also integrates the high-density/high-speed
functionalities of connectors and cabling in micro-miniature products into smaller form-factor sheet connectors that eliminate EMI.
The connectors are rated for the same number of mating cycles as
standard micro-miniature connectors, which typically rate at 15-30
mating-unmating cycles, with some models ranging into the thousands. Stringent testing shows that the MEMS mating interfaces can
withstand dropping and shock up to 6000 G with negligible impact.
Manufacturing advantages of MEMS
Standard power connectors for medical devices generally comprise
molded plastic with stamped terminals and contacts to produce
a relatively large overall footprint. Conversely, MEMS technology comprises masking, etching, plating, printing and laminating
– with the end result a very low-profile contact sheet. MEMS I/O
systems typically employ etching and drilling on extremely thin
layers of sheet metal to create a sandwich-like insulated electrical
connection. Sheets may be as thin as 150 microns (0.15 mm).
By leveraging MEMS, manufacturers can produce significantly
Production of MEMS-enabled systems is growing exponentially
By eliminating most of the traditional connector body – without
sacrificing performance or density – MEMS I/O technology represents an important paradigm shift for medical device designers
and manufacturers. Not only does MEMS drive down size and
valuable space on the PCB, but also, by replacing permanent soldered PCB connections with a simple socketed mating interface,
MEMS enables a level of design flexibility that previously could
only be found in larger connectors.
Not surprisingly, the use of MEMS-enabled systems in medical
devices has thus grown exponentially and is likely to continue a
rapid growth trajectory.