Emerging MEMS manufacturers look beyond auto apps

September 12, 2007 – MEMS revenue will double from $5B in 2005 to $10B in 2011, with a “select group of large, well-established MEMS suppliers” benefiting from growth in the automotive sector, and “new, emerging entrants” to the MEMS market capitalizing on opportunities in consumer, communications, and portable end-product sectors, according to Semiconductor Partners.

Automotive applications represent the largest segment for MEMS, as the number of MEMS devices per vehicle increases from an average of 40 to about 60 by 2011. The top suppliers in this sector, though, are well established, with substantial investments to meet environmental and safety regulations, according to Morry Marshall, partner at Semiconductor Partners focusing on strategic technologies, in a statement.

In contrast, consumer, communications, and portable markets will see significant growth without the longer design cycles and heavy regulation of the automotive sector, the firm says. This allows smaller, younger MEMS manufacturers to infiltrate the market with a faster return-on-investment (ROI) and fewer governmental/certification concerns. Reduced form factor and costs for end products drives growth in these sectors, the firm notes. High-growth areas in particular include microphones and speakers, clock oscillators, DLP® HDTV, hand held controls for gaming and cell phones, hard disk drives, RF switches and ink jet print heads.

Additional reporting by SST sister publication Advanced Packaging magazine.


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