5B MEMS to ship in 2016 thanks to consumer market

March 25, 2011 – BUSINESS WIRE — Micro electromechanical systems (MEMS) are starting to be the "Swiss Army Knives" of modern consumer electronics: they can take the form of (or be incorporated in) accelerometers, gyroscopes, magnetometers, altimeters, screens, projectors, and microphones. New data from ABI Research indicates that strong growth in the MEMS market over the next five years will result in nearly five billion MEMS being shipped during 2016.

MEMS are found in smartphones, netbooks, media tablets, eReaders, games consoles and handheld gaming platforms, where some of them assist with navigation, dead reckoning, image stabilization, and augmented reality. (Often, consumer devices contain more than one MEMS component.) Still others will underpin new forms of display that use far less power than today’s screen technologies (although initially at greater cost.)

"Initially, smartphones will provide the greatest boost to uptake," notes practice director Peter Cooney, "but if OEMS embrace MEMS displays, they may deliver the strongest overall growth in revenue over time. ABI Research’s MEMS market forecasts depend on device shipments growing as expected. At this point however, we are confident about the prospects for [consumer electronics] CE devices market growth."

The MEMS market is currently split between seven quite specialized major vendors — STMicroelectronics, Asahi Kasei, InvenSense, Bosch, Knowles, Kionix, Freescale Semiconductor — and numerous smaller ones.

"Over time, competition in the MEMS market will result in falling ASPs," says Cooney. "Two of the larger vendors, Bosch and STMicroelectronics, have more diversified product offerings, taking shares across a number of applications. This positions them well to prosper as market conditions change, while other vendors continue to specialize. There is still room for new vendors with new products, however."

ABI Research’s "MEMS in Smartphones and Consumer Electronics" study (http://www.abiresearch.com/research/1006495) analyzes the market opportunity for all of the consumer devices mentioned above in terms of unit volumes, revenues and average selling prices, with forecasts to 2016. ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends in global connectivity and other emerging technologies. For more information visit www.abiresearch.com

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