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Wireless Integrated MicroSystems (WIMS): Coming Revolution in the Gathering of Information

Ken D. Wise


Wireless integrated microsystems promise to become pervasive during the coming decade in applications ranging from health care and environmental monitoring to homeland security. Merging low-power microelectronics, wireless interfaces, and wafer-level packaging with microeletromechanical systems (MEMS), the resulting button-sized modules will serve as smart information-gathering nodes that will effectively wire the planet, extending communication networks to a wide range of new information-gathering applications. Target specifications for these microsystems include a size of 1cc, a power dissipation of <1mW, and a range from 1cm to 1km. Such devices will be built on generic platforms that are digitally compensated and self-testing, customized by software and by front-end sensor selection. This talk will discuss two emerging microsystems. A family of chronically-implantable neural prostheses integrates high-density three-dimensional microelectrode arrays with embedded signal processing and wireless telemetry, offering hope for the treatment of deafness, paralysis, epilepsy, and Parkinson’s disease. These microsystems represent an electronic interface to the central nervous system. A wristwatch-size environmental monitor is also being developed to measure pressure, temperature, humidity, position, and air purity. The microsystem includes an integrated gas chromatograph capable of analyzing complex gaseous mixtures with sensitivities in the part-per-trillion range, offering exciting possibilities for enhancing homeland security and reducing global pollution.


Kensall D. Wise received the B.S.E.E. degree from Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, in 1963, and the M.S.E.E. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University, Stanford, CA, in 1964 and 1969, respectively. From 1963 to 1965 and from 1972 to 1974 he was a Member of Technical Staff at Bell Telephone Laboratories. In 1974 he joined the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan, where he is now the William Gould Dow Distinguished University  Professor and the J. Reid and Polly Anderson Professor of Manufacturing Technology. He is currently serving as Director of the NSF Engineering Research Center for Wireless Integrated MicroSystems. He is a fellow of the IEEE and the AIMBE and a member of the United States National Academy of Engineering.

Ken D. Wise Headshot
Ken D. Wise
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
EEB 125
11 Mar 2004, 12:00am until 12:00am