Technavio’s latest report on the global microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) microphone market provides an analysis on the most important trends expected to impact the market outlook through 2020. Technavio defines an emerging trend as a factor that has the potential to significantly impact the market and contribute to its growth or decline.
According to the report, the global MEMS microphone market is expected to reach close to USD 2 billion by 2020, posting a CAGR of over 12%. MEMS microphones are being integrated in most audio applications and are growing in popularity due to their digital output, monolithic structure, and high tolerance to mechanical vibration. Apple and Samsung are the major revenue contributors to the market, as they purchase majority of the MEMS microphones for integration into their numerous consumer electronic products.
Asif Gani, a lead industry analyst from Technavio’s semiconductor equipment research team says, “MEMS microphones are important components in smartphones and tablets as they are used to improve sound clarity and eliminate ambient sounds. Thus, the rapid adoption of mobile devices will create a high demand for MEMS microphones. This technology is also gaining traction in the healthcare sector as it is being integrated into hearing aids and blood pressure monitoring systems.”
The top two emerging trends driving the global MEMS microphone market according to Technavio’s research analysts are:
MEMS microphones are 10 times smaller than electret condenser microphones (ECMs), and further reductions in size are expected during the forecast period. These devices also have more functionalities than traditional ECMs.
“The small size makes the MEMS microphones preferable as it occupies less space when embedded in electronic devices. The small size coupled with low power consumption adds to the sturdiness of these devices, making them efficient in providing high-quality output,” adds Asif.
Advanced MEMS packaging
The requirement to integrate 9-axis sensors in a single package has increased the importance of MEMS packaging. Rapid advances in technology and increase in unit shipments of MEMS sensors has also made it important for vendors to achieve standardization in packaging. The other types of advanced MEMS packaging include low-temperature wafer bonding, doped polysilicon, and silicon interposers for packaging and packing MEMS at wafer dicing level.
Competitive vendor landscape
With the entry of numerous new vendors in the global MEMS microphone market, competition in the market has increased, which in turn has resulted in the decline of average selling prices of MEMS microphones. This is compelling vendors to offer their products at low prices, thus affecting their revenue.
Knowles dominates the market with almost 50% of the overall market share. Companies such as AAC and GoerTek are dependent on demand from Apple, who is their largest client, and accounts for more than 40% of the MEMS microphone revenue for both companies. Both AAC and GoerTek MEMS source their die technology from Infineon.