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Mobile device MEMS to reach $2.7B

Posted: 02 Aug 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:MEMS? tablets? smartphones?

The market for MEMS sensors in mobile phones and tablet computers was worth $2.2 billion in 2012 and is set to be worth about $2.7 billion in 2013, according to Laurent Robin, an analyst with Yole Dveloppement.

Robin, writing in his company's latest MEMS newsletter, said he expects to see an 18.5 per cent compound annual growth rate for MEMS sensors over the period to 2018, which will take the market to an annual value of about $6.4 billion.

However, while the market will nearly triple in value over the period, Robin expects the volume of shipments to quadruple, which implies declining average selling prices.

Global MEMS market for mobile phones and tablet computers

Figure 1: Global MEMS market for mobile phones and tablet computers. Source: Yole Developpement, July 2013.

This growth will be driven by the takeover of the mobile phone market by smartphones and by the inclusion of additional sensors over time for various forms of context awareness, Robin said. Gyroscopes and microphones are set to benefit more than average in the short time followed by integrated inertial measurement units (IMUs); pressure sensors used for vertical positioning; and RF MEMS for improved multi-band, multi-protocol performance. IMUs combine accelerometers and gyroscope in a single package sometimes with local processing capability. Silicon membrane speakers are still a couple of years out from adoption, Laurent said.

Price pressure will come as established semiconductor vendors and start-ups try to enter the fastgrowing market to compete with established players such as STMicroelectronics and Knowles Acoustics.

The Yole totals do not include the large market opportunity for MEMS sensors and lab-on-a-chip circuits that will be deployed in equipment peripheral to smartphones in the coming years.

Yole has also provided a ranking of vendors of MEMS sensors into the mobile device market. It ranked STMicroelectronics as top with 30.3 per cent of the $2.2 billion market. Knowles Acoustic was second with 12.7 per cent; Avago third with 11.5 per cent; and AKM fourth with 11.4 per cent.

- Peter Clarke
??EE Times

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