MEMS market to grow more slowly, says report

June 09, 2016 // By Peter Clarke
The MEMS component market will grow from $11.9 billion in 2015 to $20 billion in 2021, according to Yole Developpement, which represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.9%.

Over the same period the CAGR of units shipped will be 13%. This together With market revenue growing more slowly than units shipped implies continued attriton of the average selling price (ASP).

Consumer applications, which have been a goldmine for MEMS vendors, are offering an uncertain outlook, Yole said. The market for smartphones and mobile computing equipment is levelling out causing MEMS markets to grow more slowly.

The use of MEMS microphones, interial, pressure and gas sensors is increasing in mobile phones but the devices have very low margins. The ASP for MEMS fell below $1 in 2013, Yole said.

Promising markets for MEMS, such as IoT and wearables, are still very low volume. Better short-term prospects, and margins, may lie in the sensorization of industrial and automotive applications.

"The car industry is still hungry for sensors, with 20 MEMS devices per car on average today, and autonomous cars might offer more possibilities for MEMS technologies," said Eric Mounier, senior technology and market analyst at Yole. He added that the medical sector is looking promising with long-term developments starting to reach the market . Debiotech earned significant revenue from its MEMS micropump in 2015 .

The insulin Nanopump, developed by Debiotech, industrialized by ST and announced in 2007, was the first use of microfluidic MEMS technology in diabetes treatment. Industrial and defense markets also provide growing opportunities for high-end and high-margin devices such as inertial and pressure sensors, Mounier added.