JC Eloy: What’s in store for MEMS

August 6, 2009: Jean Christophe (J.C.) Eloy, president and CEO of Yole Développement, talks with Small Times‘ Pete Singer at SEMICON West, about the MEMS market and notable trends.

Eloy forecasts a flat MEMS market in 2009 — though that’s good news compared with the lousy performance of the semiconductor industry. He expects 15% growth in 2010 as new applications continue to emerge, e.g., in medical and industrial.

Growth is particularly good in areas such as accelerometers and gyroscopes, and this is linked to their expanding use in offering key added value in consumer electronics, for everything ranging from mobile phones to pointing devices to navigation systems.

Another big boost is in what he calls “intertial measurement units,” which spawns from the aerospace/defense sector, which requires particularly advanced motion sensing. Just a few years ago (5-10), motion sensing on the order of six or nine degrees of freedom cost anywhere from $1K-$10K — but thanks to the evolution of MEMS technology, it can now be had for <$10.

As for MEMS equipment, it’s faring not much better than the suppliers for the semiconductor industry. Investments in the past year were sufficient to support production for the next couple of years, he notes. 2010 will be somewhat improved but flat; the true “restart” for equipment purchases will happen in 2011, he says.

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