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Wearables to drive twofold growth in sensors market by 2015

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IHS? wearable? Apple? Samsung? sensor?

IHS has regarded Apple's Watch as a major impetus that will stimulate and set a standard for fitness and health monitoring features on wearable electronics devices. Consequently, the sensors market in wearable electronics will grow twofold in 2015, in terms of units shipped, stated the market analytics company.

This will likely benefit STMicroelectronics NV (Geneva, Switzerland), IHS said. The strength of user demand for wearable gadgets is such that shipments of sensors used in wearable electronics will rise by a factor of seven from 2013 to 2019, IHS added. So that's 67 million units shipped in 2013 followed by about 85 million units in 2014. And next year the market will double to 175 million units before continuing its rise to 466 million units shipped in the year 2019.

Worldwide MEMS and sensor shipments for use in wearables

Worldwide MEMS and sensor shipments for use in wearables (millions of units). Source: IHS

The market for sensors will rise more quickly than the market for wearable electronics as more sensors are included with each equipment iteration. So in contrast, IHS forecasts the market for wearable equipment will move from 50 million units in 2013 to 135 million units shipped in 2019.

The average wearable device shipped in 2019 will incorporate 4.1 sensor elements, up from 1.4 in 2013. IHS expects components such as humidity sensors and pulse sensors to move from handsets to wearable devices, such as companion smartwatches introduced by Samsung, Apple and others. This will further boost shipments of sensors in wearables. The doubling of the market in 2015 will be driven by the Apple Watch, which not only employs and an accelerometer, but also a gyroscope, a microphone and a pulse sensor. "Similar to the iPhone and iPad, IHS expects the Apple Watch will set a de facto standard for sensor specifications in smartwatches," said Jeremie Bouchaud, senior principal analyst for MEMS & sensors, at IHS Technology. "Most other wearable OEMs will follow Apple's lead in using these four devices, or will add even more sensors to differentiate." STMicroelectronics is by far the top MEMS and sensor supplier for the wearable market. The company consolidated its leadership position in 2013 with a 26 per cent share of revenue, up from 20 per cent in 2012. Beside its leadership in the discrete accelerometer market, STMicroelectronics' success with wearable sensors is because of its strong bundling strategy. The company often sells its sensors as part of a packaged deal along with its other semiconductor offerings, such as 32bit MCUs and wireless chips.

- Peter Clarke
??EE Times

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