Holden Li: Internet of Things (IoT) focusing on Wireless Sensors Network and Active RFID

Title : Internet of Things (IoT) focusing on Wireless Sensors Network and Active RFID holden-li
Course Leader: Holden Li
Affiliation: Temasek Laboratories at Nanyang Technological University

Course description:

This short course focuses on the technology and markets enabling the Internet of Things (IoT), especially related technologies such as Wireless Sensor Network and Active RFID. The class will discuss in detail generic IoT sensors, especially MEMS based one, that are commonly used and also upcoming ones; technologies progression over the past ten years and looking beyond; reality versus the hype, etc.

It will also specifically address issues like the hardware advantages and disadvantages for each choice. Participants will have a better understanding of what IoT is and which part does wireless sensing and RFID play.  Other interesting topics include the architecture of IoT from the ground up; traditional Active RFID, RFID enabled cellphones, smart active labels/ battery assisted passive tags, and Wireless/Ubiquitous Sensor Networks (USN).  Lastly, a brief introduction on the various energy harvesting mechanisms will also be discussed.

Course outline:

  1. Introduction and background of IoT
  2. RFID System Basics
  3. Various RFID related technologies used in IoT
  4. RFID related application in Singapore
  5. Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN)
  6. WSN in Singapore context
  7. Enablers of IoT – Energy Harvesting
  8. Real Time Location Systems
  9. Tradeoff studies of various technologies
  10. Related Opportunities in Singapore and South East Asia


Dr Holden Li graduated in NUS with a Bachelor of Engineering (Honors) in 1997. In 2000 Holden enrolled in Stanford University for his graduate studies under Professor Thomas Kenny. During his PhD studies, Dr Holden Li was actively involved in MEMS process development in finding suitable packaging solutions to MEMS and BioMEMS devices. Besides, he worked closely with several industrial partners who benefited from the on-going research activities in Kenny’s group at that time. He was awarded his MSc and PhD in Mechanical Engineering in 2001 and 2005 respectively. Back in Singapore in September 2005, he started to lead a research team in MEMS sensors research effort in the area of MEMS R&D and reliability study. Beyond this, his passion for R & D in microelectronics, and his strong academic interest in the area of micro and nanotechnology propelled him to seek for funding opportunity in this area. He is currently working closely with several senior faculties in the area of microelectronics, MEMS research and Internet of Things (IoT) applications both in NTU and Temasek Laboratories at NTU. He is serving on the National Committee of Semiconductor Devices and Technology formed by SPRING Singapore and driving the standardization of the design, manufacture and testing of MEMS and NEMS devices.


  • Ph.D. Stanford University, 2005
  • M.Sc. Stanford University, 2001
  • B.Eng. (Hons) National University of Singapore, 1997

Research Interests

Dr Holden Li’s research interest is in the area of microelectronics, micro and nano fabrication methods and MEMS reliability study. The area in MEMS reliability is essentially an important aspect that is lacking in the academic world. Some of his latest works include the long term reliability of MEMS sensor under high constant acceleration field and various packaging options. Besides, he is actively working in the area of integration of microelectronics with MEMS and system level design, especially in IoT applications.

Current Projects

Project PROVEL
This project was awarded by FSTD to fund Temasek Lab’s MEMS team to collaborate with Stanford University’s Prof Roger Howe (funded by DARPA) to transit the previous DARPA funded project using foundry services. It allows our MEMS team to work with the best MEMS researchers in the world to come up with innovative designs based on the technology platform developed by TL.
Project Teardown
This project employs MEMS sensors in an urban GPS denied environment for situation awareness and mapping. Our team comprises of experts in Electrical engineering, Civil engineering and Mechanical engineering to provide a wireless sensor networking system for information extraction, for example 3D indoor mapping, sensor network localization, moving object detection, temperature, indoor air quality, pressure, sound etc.
[Temasek Laboratories, Micro-Systems & Optics]
Development of an integrated point-of-care microfluidic platform for leukocyte sorting and functional characterization in type 2 diabetes patients
This project employs Bio-MEMS sensors to develop an integrated point-of-care testing platform for leukocyte (white blood cell) functional characterization in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients. It is an interdisciplinary research with the LKCMedicine.
[Micro-Systems & Optics]



J Fan, DF Lim, L Peng, KH Li, CS Tan, “Effect of bonding temperature on hermetic seal and mechanical support of wafer-level Cu-to-Cu thermo-compression bonding for 3D integration”, Microsystem Technologies, Vol 19, Iss 5, pp 661-667 (2013)

YJ Yoon, WT Park, KH Li, YQ Ng, Y Song, “A Study of Piezoelectric Harvesters for Low-Level Vibrations in Wireless Sensors Networks”. Intl. J. Precision Eng and Manuf, Vol 14, Iss 7, pp 1257-1262 (2013)

J Fan, DL Peng, KH Li, and CS Tan, “Wafer-level hermetic packaging of 3D Microsystems with low-temperature Cu-to-Cu thermo-compression bonding and its reliability”. J. Micromech. Microeng., vol. 22, iss. 10, 105004 (2012)

J Fan, DF Lim, L Peng, KH Li, and CS Tan, “Low Temperature Cu-to-Cu Bonding for Wafer-Level Hermetic Encapsulation of 3D Microsystems Electrochem”. Solid-State Letter 14, H470 (2011)

CS Tan, J Fan, DF Lim, GY Chong, and KH Li, “Low Temperature Wafer-level Bonding for Hermetic Packaging of 3D Microsystems,” J. Micromech. Microeng., vol. 21, p. 075006 (2011)

  1. Oh*, K. Li, S. Ong*, K. Choo*, “Advanced Thermal Ground Plane for Microelectronics”, 17th International Workshop on Thermal Investigations of ICs and Systems, Paris 2011.

N Tan, R Kor and H. Li, “Analysis of Human Motion Using Accelerometry”, International Society of Biomechanics, Brussels 2011.

R Kor and H Li, “Study of Fall Detection and Position Tracking using MEMS IMUs”, International Society of Biomechanics, Brussels 2011.

R Nadipalli, J Fan, KH Li, KH Wee, H Yu, CS Tan, “3D integration of MEMS and CMOS via Cu-Cu bonding with simultaneous formation of electrical, mechanical and hermetic bonds”, IEEE International 3D Systems Integration Conference (3DIC), 2011.