MEMS sector faces a fight to provide value

March 11, 2016 // By Peter Clarke
Boxing gloves
One of the themes of the MEMS and Sensors Technology Conference, held March 7 and 8 in Munich, Germany, was the repeated questioning of what the MEMS sector must do to avoid destruction through the commoditization of its products.

It is not a new theme. Behrooz Abdi, CEO of InvenSense Inc. (San Jose, Calif.), discussed the same idea in a presentation at a MEMS event organized by SEMI in 2015 (see Not enough money in MEMS, own the data, says InvenSense CEO).

Claire Troadec, MEMS analyst with Yole.
Claire Troadec, MEMS analyst with Yole Developpement.

But at this week's Munich event, organized by the MEMS & Sensors Industry Group, many executives seemed to have latched on to the idea and wanted to talk about it. That's not to say that the sector is in crisis, but the MEMS executives are increasingly and painfully aware that the market dynamics are such that they are facing increasing capital expenditure while it is often their customers and customers' customers that reap the most financial benefit.

It was a theme that Claire Troadec, MEMS analyst with Yole Developpement, turned to in her presentation at the conference but also one where she offered some hope in that the situation remains complex and dynamic with opportunities for component suppliers to move up the value chain or to create new and valued components.

Troadec started by predicting that the electronics industry is on the verge of a third era, that she called Beyond Moore, enabled by MEMS actuators.

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