Magnetic sensor industry is moving into a consolidation phase

With 7% CAGR between 2016 and 2022, the magnetic sensor market should reach almost US$ 2.5 billion in 2022. Driven by the automotive applications and the introduction of the magnetoresistive technologies, it is showing a steady growth. The industry is step by step undergoing a consolidation process. According to Yole Développement (Yole), future mergers and acquisitions are expected to allow companies to ensure their market positioning and penetrate new market segments.

The “More than More” market research and strategy consulting company, proposes today a dedicated technology & market report related to semiconductor magnetic sensors industry: Magnetic Sensors Market & Technologies. Magnetic sensors functions included in this new analysis are switches/latches, position (angle/linear), speed, current and electronic compass. With this new report, Yole’s analysts are offering a comprehensive overview of the magnetic technologies such as Hall Effect, magneto resistive (AMR, GMR and TMR) and others, combined with market data and competitive landscape. Based on its strong knowledge of the semiconductor industry and its technical expertise, Yole’s team investigated the magnetic sensor ecosystem, conducted numerous interviews with leading players and gathered lot of strategic information. This report presents the key driving forces and restraints for each magnetic sensor market and provides accurate market forecasts in dollars, units and number of wafers.

magnetic sensor market

Magnetic sensors is becoming a key enabling technology for the growing automotive and IoT industries, announces the consulting company.

“Automotive market is the 1st magnetic sensors business thanks to a huge number of magnetic sensors per vehicle, as well as the large volume showed by the automotive sector,” said Yann de Charentenay, Technology & Market Analyst at Yole.

Therefore automotive is the biggest magnetic sensor business by far, accounting for more than 50% of the overall market’s US$1.64 billion value in 2016. Today, 20-30 magnetic sensors are used in a traditional ICE car. This could rise to 35 in hybrid cars, which require additional current sensors. Magnetic sensors can be used for position and speed sensing, switching, current sensing, and have the advantage of being contactless and thus very robust. Thus magnetic sensors already contribute significantly to car electrification. This will continue in coming years, in both powertrain and auxiliary brushless motors, and as reliability requirements increase for autonomous cars.

In parallel, Yole’s analysts consider a 2nd market segment including industrial plants, transportation, homes, appliances and consumer electronics. “The market is clearly very fragmented, with smaller volumes and more dedicated products than in automotive, which are thus also higher priced”, details Yann de Charentenay from Yole. But similar trends as in automotive are currently driving the market growth. And the transition to brushless motors and IoT are boosting the market by providing intelligence and connectivity to objects either for ‘industry 4.0’ or for consumer smart homes. “At Yole, we therefore expect this business will have double digit growth, the highest in the magnetic sensor market,” added Yann de Charentenay.

The ‘ecompass’ electronic compass market is stabilizing after several years of shrinkage due to rapid price erosion and smartphone market saturation. Ecompasses that use 3D magnetic sensors equip a majority of smartphones to precisely give pedestrians directions in digital maps, and for a few years have assisted GPS when satellite signals are unavailable. Market growth will come back thanks to new applications such as wearable, robots and drones, but will be moderate compared to other businesses.

The magnetic sensors market evolution is also pushed by a dynamic technology landscape. Indeed, the presence of magnetoresistive technologies, named xMR grows and reinforces the increasing complexity of the technology environment. It includes AMR, GMR, and more recently TMR. Their growth comes at the expense of, or combination with, historical Hall Effect technology.
xMR technologies’ main advantage is better sensitivity and thus they are mainly used for position measurement, especially for precise angles. Most big Hall players have introduced xMR technologies into their product portfolios and intend to grow this business. Yole’s analysis identified: AKM, Infineon Technologies, Allegro Microsystems, Melexis, TDK (especially with the acquisition of Micronas end of 2015), Diodes and Honeywell. According to Yole, xMR technologies will increase their market share from 27% to 33% from 2016 to 2022.

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