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Sensors/MEMS??

MEMS market to hit $9.7B in 2012

Posted: 04 Apr 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:MEMS market? sensor? actuator? consumer electronics?

IC Insights forecasts that worldwide sales of MEMS-based semiconductor sensors and actuators are expected to increase at a CAGR of 19 percent between 2007 and 2012, reaching $9.7 billion in five years compared to $4.1 billion in 2007.

The growth is driven by the deployment of more motion-control user interfaces on consumer electronics and drop-detection/protection features in portable systems.

The market research firm notes its forecast growth rate is a significant increase from the 9 percent CAGR for MEMS sensors and actuators achieved between 2003 and 2007.

Unit shipments are expected to increase at a CAGR of 27 percent over the same period, reaching 4.3 billion devices in five years compared to 1.3 billion in 2007.

In this same period, total sensor/actuator unit shipments are forecast to increase at a CAGR of 23 percent with 12.1 billion devices being shipped in 2012 compared to 4.3 billion in 2007. Overall, the sensor/actuator market is expected to reach $11.9 billion, counting all types of technologies.

Wide range of MEMS
The group suggests 80 percent of today's $5 billion semiconductor sensor/actuator market is served by devices built with MEMS technology.

The MEMS structures perform transducer functions for taking measurements or initiating physical actions. Among these devices are pressure sensors, accelerometers, gyroscope chips, solid-state microphones, silicon MEMS oscillators, and a broad range of actuators, such as inkjet nozzles, micro-mirror display devices, biochips, and RF filters, including SAW components.

MEMS-based actuators accounted for 54 percent of the $5.1 billion sensor/actuator market in 2007, according to the market research group. Actuator sales are forecast to grow at a CAGR of nearly 20 percent in the 2007-2012 timeframe and will reach $6.8 billion in 2012 compared to $2.8 billion in 2007.

Meanwhile, the acceleration/yaw-sensor category will get a major boost from consumer and portable systems applications using low-cost accelerometers in the coming years. This sensor category's growth rate is expected to slightly exceed that of actuators and reach $2 billion by 2012 compared to $811 million in 2007.

New apps
Until recently, MEMS-based devicessuch as accelerometers and pressure sensorshave been heavily dependent on the automotive market for growth, but new, high-volume applications in consumer products, cellphones, and other portable systems have significantly increased the potential for sales worldwide.

For instance, a growing number of video-game controllers are using low-cost accelerometers and gyroscope devices to operate virtual reality software instead of traditional joysticks and buttons. In multimedia cellphones and digital music players, "shake control" is made possible with new accelerometers that integrate special functions for recognition of sudden movement as user inputs and control.

Accelerometers are also being used in portable systems to detect freefall and take immediate action to protect HDDs from damage whenever units are dropped.

- John Walko
EE Times Europe





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