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Analyst: MEMS sensor market to bounce back to all time high

Posted: 15 Jul 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IC Insights? sensor? MEMS? actuator? Internet of Things?

For instance, MEMS sensor sales grew by a CAGR of 19.2 per cent between 2008 and 2013 to $3.8 billion, while actuator revenues rose by an annual average of just 2.8 per cent in the five-year period to $3.3 billion last year, according to the report. In the 2013-2018 forecast period, both MEMS sensor and actuator sales are expected to rise by a CAGR of about 12 per cent. IC Insights expects actuator sales to strengthen and become less volatile as more devices move into high-volume systems and new application concepts finally taking off in the commercial market such as inexpensive disposable lab-on-chip devices for low-cost drug development, DNA analysis and infectious disease identification.

The challenge for MEMS sensors will be coming off extremely high growth rates in the past five years, which were mostly concentrated in a few major applications such as smartphones and interactive video games, along with steady increases in automotive electronics. MEMS sensor unit shipments surged by a CAGR of 35 per cent between 2008 and 2013, which is more than double 15 per cent annual growth rate expected in the next five years, according to IC Insights, which forecasts 7.7 billion devices to be sold in in 2018 compared to 3.9 billion sensors in 2013. MEMS sensor sales in 2014 are forecast to grow 16 per cent to $4.4 billion after increasing just four per cent in 2013.

While overall annual unit growth rates are expected to be lower in the next five years, shipments of MEMS-based sensors will be driven by a much wider range of system applications, including more devices in smartphones and automobiles, but also new uses in consumer electronics, portable products, wearable systems, handheld test and instrument equipment, home automation, factory gear and personal medical devices. The spread of MEMS-based sensors and actuators into a broader range of new applications will help keep ASPs from eroding in the coming years because higher-priced designs will become more specialised, and thus, dollar sales growth is expected to be stronger in the years ahead despite the easing of unit volume increases in the 2013-2018 period.

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