Bar code technology users no longer need to make a choice between the outstanding reliability provided by solid-state CCD readers and the fast performance associated with laser scanners. A major innovation in laser scanner design and manufacturing provides outstanding reliability and performance. By adapting highly proven, highly reliable MEMS technology for bar code reading, MEMS-based laser scanners provide faster reading, better recognition and processing of poor quality or damaged bar codes than traditional lasers, and extreme reliability even in demanding scanning environments. MEMS scan engines are also extremely compact – about the size of a sugar cube – which leads to lightweight, ergonomic and power friendly scanners.

MEMS stands for microelectromechanical systems. MEMS devices combine electronic circuitry with miniaturized mechanical devices, which may include sensors, gyroscopes, actuators, motors, pumps and other components, on a silicon substrate that can be smaller than a grain of sand. MEMS is the underlying technology behind antilock brakes and vehicle airbags, and is used in numerous industrial and commercial products, including inkjet printers, projection systems, large-screen and digital televisions, optical networking gear, medical imaging, diagnostic equipment and battlefield displays. MEMS bar code scanning represents a new application for an established technology.

This white paper will explain how MEMS are used for bar code scanning, the reliability and performance advantages MEMS scanners have over traditional lasers, and the opportunities and limitations for using MEMS-based scanners.

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