MEMGen Corp. has launched the world's first micro-device design contest. The "3-D MEMS Design Challenge" is made possible by the company's proprietary EFAB™ micro-manufacturing technology, which allows micro-devices to be designed with commonly available 3-D CAD software tools and fabricated in a matter of a few weeks using the company's automated system.

MEMGen's design contest is open to all individuals who have commercial or research interest in micro-device designs, manufacturing or use, including electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, design contractors, university faculty and students. There is no limit to the number of entries per person or organization. The company will award the top three contest winners with prototypes of their own designs. In addition, the top three contestants will receive cash prizes of $10,000, $5,000, $2,500, and the first place winner will receive a SolidWorks® Office 2003 3-D CAD package. Entries must be submitted to MEMGen by April 15, 2003, and the winners will be announced on May 1, 2003. The submissions will be judged by a panel comprised of independent industry experts, including Al Pisano, PhD of U.C. Berkeley, Elliot Brown, PhD of UCLA and Marlene Bourne, senior analyst at In-Stat/MDR. Selection will be based on design novelty, creative use of 3-D and commercial utility.

"This competition is the first of its kind for MEMS and micro-scale devices. Until we invented EFAB micro-manufacturing technology, truly 3-D designs were cumbersome, constrained and impractical. Micro-devices could only be created by experts using exotic silicon micro-machining techniques; and even then, they took a long time to design and build. The ability to create arbitrary, complex 3-D geometries with tens to hundreds of precision metal layers was a distant dream," said Vacit Arat, MEMGen president and CEO. "Those days are over. Our EFAB technology enables a straight forward and intuitive design process, thereby opening micro-device design up to anyone with the need and a little bit of imagination," added Arat.

MEMGen's EFAB technology enables unprecedented flexibility in 3-D design, allowing devices to be built with multiple layers of metal (tens to hundreds, if required). This makes possible a wide range of applications, including RF devices, biomedical devices, sensors and actuators, and optical devices. In addition, the unique ability of the EFAB process to co-fabricate a package around the MEMS device - essentially building a box around the device - enables extremely low cost packaging, which can also be made hermetically sealed. For further information about MEMGen's micro-device design competition and full contest rules, visit