Products built with microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology are forecast to account for 73% of the $9.3 billion semiconductor sensor market in 2018 and about 47% of the projected 24.1 billion total sensor units to be shipped globally this year, according to IC Insightsâ€™ 2018 O-S-D Reportâ€”A Market Analysis and Forecast for Optoelectronics, Sensors/Actuators, and Discretes. Â Revenues for MEMS-built sensorsâ€”including accelerometers, gyroscope devices, pressure sensors, and microphone chipsâ€”are expected to grow 10% in 2018 to $6.8 billion compared to nearly $6.1 billion in 2017, which was a 17% increase from $5.2 billion in 2016, the O-S-D Report says. Â Shipments of MEMS-built sensors are forecast to rise about 11% in 2018 to 11.1 billion after growing 19% in 2016.
An additional $5.9 billion in sales is expected to be generated in 2018 by MEMS-built actuators, which use their microelectromechanical systems transducers to translate and initiate actionâ€”such as dispensing ink in printers or drugs in hospital patients, reflecting light on tilting micromirrors in digital projectors, or filtering radio-frequency signals by converting RF to acoustic waves across structures on chips. Â Total sales of MEMS-built sensors and actuators are projected to grow 10% in 2018 to $12.7 billion after increasing nearly 18% in 2017 and 15% in 2016 (Figure 1).
In terms of unit volume, shipments of MEMS-built sensors and actuators are expected to grow by slightly less than 12% to 13.1 billion units worldwide after climbing 20% in 2017 and rising 11% in 2016. Â Total revenues for MEMS-based sensors and actuators are projected to increase by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.2% between 2017 and 2022 to reach $17.8 billion in the final year of the forecast, according to the 2018 O-S-D Report. Â Worldwide shipments of these MEMS-built semiconductors are expected to grow by a CAGR of 11.4% in the 2017-2022 period to 20.2 billion units at the end of the forecast.
One of the biggest changes expected in the five-year forecast period will be greater stability in the average selling price for MEMS-built devices and significantly less ASP erosion than in the past 10 years. The ASP for MEMS-built sensors and actuators is projected to drop by a CAGR of -2.0% between 2017 and 2022 compared to a -4.7% annual rate of decline in the 2012-2017 period and the steep CAGR plunge of -13.6% between 2007 and 2012. Â The ASP for MEMS-built devices is expected to be $0.88 in 2022 versus $0.97 in 2017, $1.24 in 2012, and $2.57 in 2007, says the 2018 report.
The spread of MEMS-based sensors and actuators into a broader range of new â€śautonomous and â€śintelligentâ€ť automated applicationsâ€”such as those connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) and containing artificial intelligence (AI)â€”will help keep ASPs from falling as much as they did in the last 10 years. Â IC Insights believes many MEMS-based semiconductors are becoming more specialized for certain applications, which will help insulate them from pricing pressures in the market.