MEMS to top $20 billion in 5 years, with double-digit growth

July 6, 2012 — “MEMS will continue to see steady, sustainable, double-digit growth for the next 6 years, with 20% compound average annual growth (CAGR) in units and 13% growth in revenues, to become a $21 billion market by 2017,” said Laurent Robin, Activity Leader, Inertial MEMS Devices & Technologies at Yole Développement, which published its “Status of the MEMS Industry” report.

Figure. MEMS forecast through 2017. SOURCE: Yole.

Almost all micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS) players had a growth in sales in 2011 compared to 2010. Companies involved in inertial sensors and microphones are growing the most. New MEMS devices will emerge in the forecast period, with some experiencing >90% CAGR.

Yole expects continued strong growth in motion sensing and microfluidics, segments of the MEMS market that will grow to 25% (motion sensing accelerometers, gyroscopes, magnetometers and combos) and 23% (microfluidics) of the total MEMS arena in 2017.

Yole broke out combo sensors as a separate category in its market data and forecasts this year. The market for discrete inertial sensors is beginning to decline, but the growth for inertial combo solutions will be huge. Combo sensors will grow from <$100 million today to a $1.7 billion opportunity by 2017.

The MEMS market is still very fragmented, with limited high-volume MEMS applications. New MEMS devices and emerging-MEMS devices are hitting markets or nearing completion. Some of them have the possibility to ramp up to large volumes quickly: especially those that can be applied to mobile devices (RF MEMS switches, oscillators, auto-focus MEMS, etc). New sensors — humidity, touchscreen — and actuators — switches, energy harvesting — are driving future growth. Existing sensors are also expanding into new market spaces, sometimes using new types of integration (e.g. pressure sensors).

The report includes case studies on the STMicroeletronics (ST) and Bosch business models, as STMicroeletronics is becoming the dominant player in MEMS. ST has been able to diversify its MEMS offer with a wide range of MEMS devices and 90% of its IDM business done with 2 devices only (accelerometers, gyroscopes). It anticipated the growth with early investment in high-volume manufacturing infrastructure with an 8” wafer production line and diverse partnerships to speed time to market and enlarge its product offering. Bosch benefits from its captive fab infrastructure primarily dedicated to automotive applications, which helps Bosch to decrease prices.

In 2011, both the number and values of MEMS mergers and acquisitions (M&A) boomed. A total of $1.7B MEMS acquisition value was realized in 2011. Early-stage MEMS companies are acquired at high prices — SensorDynamics, Pixtronics — because there are a limited number of private candidates with solid technology. Large companies are looking to enter the attractive MEMS market, placing high value on these targets.

Companies cited in the report:

AAC, AGILTRON, AICHI MI, AKM, ALPS, ALTIS, AMKOR, ANALOG DEVICES, APPLE, ASE, ASIA PACIFIC MICROSYSTEMS, ASMC, AUDIOPIXELS, AVAGO TECHNOLOGIES, BAE, BLUECHIIP, BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM MICROPARTS, BSE, BTENDO, CANON, CAVENDISH KINETICS, CEA LETI, COLIBRYS, DEBIOTECH, DELFMEMS, DENSO, DISCERA, DNP, DRS, ENDVCO, EPCOS, EXCELITAS, FAUN INFRARED, FLIR SYSTEMS, FORMFACTOR, FOXCONN, FREESCALE SEMICONDUCTOR, FUJITSU, GE SENSING, GETTOP, GLADIATOR TECHNOLOGIES, GLOBAL FOUNDRIES, GOERTEK, GOODRICH-AIS, HEWLETT PACKARD, HITACHI, HONEYWELL, HOSIDEN, IDT, IMEC, IMT, INFINEON TECHNOLOGIES…

The 2012 edition of “Status of the MEMS Industry” includes MEMS device markets, key players strategies, key industry changes and trends and MEMS financial analysis. It also includes major MEMS manufacturing evolutions as well as an update on the “emerging” MEMS devices markets.

The Status of the MEMS industry report is written by Eric Mounier, PhD, co-founder and market analyst for MEMS, equipment and material, at Yole Développement and Laurent Robin, head of MEMS & Sensors market research at Yole Développement.

Yole Développement is a group of companies providing market research, technology analysis, strategy consulting, media in addition to finance services. Learn more at www.yole.fr.

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