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To date, the MEMS industry has earned the bulk of its global revenue--about $7 billion in 2010--from sales of accelerometers (for airbags) and other sensors for the automotive industry along with components for ink-jet printers, displays and hard-disk drives. But it's a sign of their rise in status that MEMS are getting singled out for recognition by both the semiconductor and electronics industries in their respective technology roadmaps. Industry roadmaps are forecasts of technology advances and processing improvements necessary to sustain progress in enhancing the performance of products while minimizing manufacturing costs.

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