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Medical, industrial sector slowdown hits high-value MEMS

Posted: 04 Apr 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IHS? MEMS? medical electronics? market growth? sensors?

According to IHS iSuppli's latest report, the high-value microelectromechanical system (MEMS) market experienced a soft growth last year. IHS attributed the slowdown to the weakness in the medical electronics and industrial sectors.

A market known for its lofty average selling prices when compared with other MEMS devices, the 2012 revenue for high-value MEMS amounted to $1.63 billion, equivalent to growth of 6.5 per cent from $1.53 billion in 2011. While revenue was up, growth was noticeably down from the 12.5 per cent expansion of 2011.

This year will see a slightly improved 7.4 per cent increase to $1.8 billion as the industry starts to recover during the second half. Growth then picks up by 2014 and rises to 10.3 per cent, with 2015 and 2016 also forecast to experience solid upturns north of 9.0 per cent, as shown in the attached figure.

"The high-value MEMS market last year suffered a deceleration in growth because of continuing slow sales in medical electronics as well as a broad-based downturn in the industrial segment," said Richard Dixon, Ph.D., principal analyst for MEMS & Sensors at IHS.

He added that in medical electronics, the market performance has been sluggish for the last 18 months, echoing global economic uncertainties. The same macroeconomic headwinds also curtailed end-user demand in industrial electronics semiconductors, inflicting further pain. The high-value MEMS market was aided slightly by strong performance in the telecom, aerospace, and oil and gas sectors, which served to ameliorate the negative effects of the slow-moving sectors.

bar graph

Figure : Worldwide High-Value MEMS Revenue Forecast (Billions of US Dollars) Source: IHS iSuppli Research, April 2013.

Despite the diminished growth of 2012, the high-value MEMS market remains the second-fastest-expanding area in the broader MEMS space, coming in after the mobile and consumer market but leading the data processing and automotive segments. High-value MEMS accounted for 19 per cent of the total MEMS industry last year, despite extreme fragmentation of the space with well over 100 suppliers. The average selling prices of sensors used in high-value MEMS are also much higher than the prices of sensors used in other MEMS segments, which gives the high-value MEMS industry its strength and importance.

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