Analyst: "High-value" MEMS demand surging - Small Times
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Analyst: "High-value" MEMS demand surging

September 8, 2010 - Outside of consumer/mobile electronics, the strongest growth for MEMS devices isn't in autos or inkjet printers -- it's in "high-value" areas spanning industrial, medical, energy, and defense applications, according to a new report from iSuppli.

MEMS devices have found a sweetspot in consumer electronics and automotive applications, but there is a whole group outside of those markets which iSuppli calls "high-value" -- including industrial, medical, energy, optical telecom, and aerospace/defense applications. This class of "high-value" MEMS will enjoy annual double-digit growth through the next five years, and a 19.7% CAGR from 2009-2014, to a $2.6B market, iSuppli projects.

These "high value" MEMS markets are diverse with many niche areas, where global trends "highlight the unique value proposition that the tiny devices bring" -- iSuppli currently tracks 110 device and application areas says Richard Dixon, senior analyst at iSuppli, in a statement. Of these groups, the most activity is in industrial applications (building automation and semiconductor manufacturing), which will account for ~56% of high-value MEMS revenue in 2010 (followed by medical electronics, aerospace/defense, and wired communications). Other examples include:

  • MEMS microvalves, pressure sensors and flow sensors. Used to help reduce energy consumption in industrial processes, residential heating, and transportation systems.
  • MEMS sensors and actuators. For less invasive healthcare monitoring, and increasing the efficiency and comfort of drug delivery.
  • Telecommunications. Fiber deployments in China, for example, are helping stimulate the overall global optical MEMS market.

But while the overall MEMS market is dominated (79%) by the top 20 suppliers, the top 20 "high-value" MEMS suppliers take only 60% of that sector -- and that spells more opportunities for other suppliers. These span everyone from large system companies with their own MEMS production (e.g. Honeywell, GE) to big semiconductor companies (e.g. Analog Devices, Freescale) to independent sensor suppliers (e.g. VTI Technologies, Omron) to specialized entities (e.g., MEMSCAP), startups, and fabless semiconductor companies.

Global high-value MEMS revenues and growth. (Source: iSuppli)



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