New MEMS flex muscle in 2011

April 19, 2011 — New MEMS, a 4-yr old segment of the MEMS market specifically for consumer electronics (CE) and mobile handsets, will grow by 157.4% in 2011, powering the expansion of the overall MEMS industry, according to new IHS iSuppli research.

  2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Established MEMS $1,049 $1,120 $1,214 $1,261 $1,460 $1,611 $1,808 $2,059 $2,245
New MEMS $0 $2 $6 $26 $178 $457 $740 $1,120 $1,465
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Figure. Revenue forecast for established MEMS vs. new MEMS in consumer and mobile (Millions of US Dollars). Source: IHS iSuppli Research, April 2011.

Revenue this year for new CE and mobile MEMS devices will reach $457.3 million, up by more than a factor of 2.5 from $177.6 million in 2010. A category including devices such as 3-axis gyroscopes and pico projectors, the new MEMS segment did not even exist in 2006. However, growth has been nothing short of explosive after the category was devised in 2007 to differentiate the segment from that of established MEMS. By 2014, new MEMS will generate revenue of $1.4 billion, as shown in the figure.

New MEMS enable motion-controlled video games, tablet navigation systems, pico projectors embedded in smart phones, and other exciting consumer products, said Jérémie Bouchaud, director and principal analyst MEMS and sensors for IHS. "This is driving fast revenue growth both for the new MEMS themselves and for the overall MEMS market."

Compared to the triple-digit growth rate of new CE and mobile MEMS, the established (accelerometers and single- or dual-axis gyroscopes) MEMS segment is poised to expand only 10.4% this year.

Established MEMS will continue to produce bigger revenue overall, but growth as a whole in the next three years will be confined to the range of 9 to 12%. Meanwhile, expansion rates for new CE and mobile MEMS will amount to a 31 to 62% from 2012 to 2014.

The net effect of such rapid growth is to increase the portion held by new MEMS of the total CE and mobile MEMS revenue pie. As a result, new MEMS in 2014 will account for 39.5% of overall revenue, a far cry from the 0.2 percent share in 2007 when the segment earned just $2.4 million. Without the revenue contribution of new MEMS, IHS believes, overall growth in the MEMS space will be dependable but underwhelming.

3-axis gyroscopes

Among new MEMS devices, 3-axis gyroscopes are most likely to take a star turn. Found in the likes of the iPhone 4 from Apple Inc. and the Move remote controller for the PlayStation 3 from Sony Corp., 3-axis gyroscopes feature prominently in applications for smart phones and gaming, with motion recognition functions benefiting greatly from the use of the new MEMS component.

3-axis gyroscopes also can be found in other consumer electronic devices, such as tablets like Apple’s iPad 2, Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Tab as well as in every new tablet; the new 3DS handheld player from Nintendo Corp.; portable media players like Apple’s iPod Touch Fourth Generation (4G); and new smart phones from Samsung such as the Nexus or from LG Electronics like the Optimus.

Learn more in New MEMS Underpins Consumer Market Expansion:

IHS iSuppli technology value chain research and advisory services range from electronic component research to device-specific application market forecasts, from teardown analysis to consumer electronics market trends and analysis and from display device and systems research to automotive telematics, navigation and safety systems research. More information is available at


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