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The curious case of the maturing MEMS market

Posted: 25 Nov 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:MEMS? MEMS microphone? MEMS market? M&As?

Avago will mostly likely jump from fifth to third position in the microelectromechanical system (MEMS) markets in 2015, surpassing STMicroelectronics and Hewlett Packard, according to market research firm IHS. Bosch and Texas Instruments, on the other hand, are likely to keep the top two spots in preliminary tallies.

By past accounts, the MEMS market should have entered the mature phase by now, where its products become commoditised!like DRAM!making price the primary buyer's incentive and setting off round after round of price cutting, mergers and acquisitions (M&As). The fact that this has not yet happened indicates that something is preventing the market from maturing, according to Jeremie Bouchaud, principal analyst at IHS.

IHS forecast

IHS has to revise its forecast upwards slightly each year to account for the new types of MEMS devices invented and the higher definition modes each of which demand premium prices, thus preventing the market from being commoditised. (Source: IHS)

"The accelerometer and gyroscope markets are levelling out, but there is still strong growth in microphones!which can charge a premium price for the most-wanted high signal-to-noise ratio varieties," Bouchaud told EE Times. "And there is also strong growth in new types of MEMS devices such as BAWs [bulk acoustic wave filters]."

MEMS growth

When you break down MEMS growth by application, it's clear to see that consumer and mobile electronics are leading the way with a 14.4 per cent compounded annual growth rate (CAGR, medium blue) compared to a 7.6 per cent CAGR overall (previous figure), both predictions between 2014 and 2019. (Source: IHS)

As a result, IHS has boosted its overall growth in the market from 10.5 billion in 2018!up from $9.4 billion in 2014!to $13 billion in 2018!up from $9.6 in 2014. The fastest growing market segments remain the consumer electronics and mobile spaces, where growth has been spurred to a 13.4 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) out to 2019, compared with an overall CAGR rate of 7.6 per cent for the entire MEMS market over the same period.

MEMS market

When you break the MEMS market down by device type, it's clear to see that the venerable accelerometers and gyroscope have entered the commodity phase with flat growth, whereas MEMS microphones and bulk acoustic wave (BAW)!22 of which are used in the new iPhone 6s and 6s+!are enjoying ?double digit compounded annual growth rate (CAGR). (Source: IHS)

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