More MEMS-per-device coming to automotive safety systems

June 15, 2011 – BUSINESS WIRE — The automotive sector for micro electromechanical systems (MEMS) is increasing rapidly, thanks to more and more automotive makers adopting integrated safety systems in new car designs.

Nearly 100 million MEMS-based airbag, tire pressure monitor, and electronic stability (ESP) safety systems shipped globally in 2010, totalling more than 300 million MEMS chips. In 2016, about 150 million systems will be installed in vehicles, containing over 830 million MEMS chips.

Government mandates are the most important driver for automotive MEMS and safety systems. One example is mandatory tire pressure measurement systems (TPMS) on cars in the US.

"Safety systems are becoming more advanced and more complex," noted ABI Research practice director Peter Cooney, explaining that new systems contain more sensors per device than previous generations.

Several types of sensors — accelerometers, pressure sensors, and gyroscopes — are increasingly integrated on one chip; alternatively, a single MEMS can serve several safety systems. This second trend, says Cooney, will negatively impact MEMS sensor market growth.

Increasing competition will also deflate growth. Currently, only a few MEMS suppliers feed into the automotive sensors market. Despite attractive profit margins in the sector, startups face oft-insurmountable barriers in validations and costs.

"Automotive MEMS Sensors" from ABI Research is available at ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends in global connectivity and other emerging technologies.

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