Sensor sales will continue to grow as prices tumble

July 27, 2016 // By Peter Clarke
Total sensor sales are expected to grow by about 3% in 2016 to $6.6 billion with worldwide shipments rising 13% to nearly 18.2 billion units, according to IC Insights.

Sales of sensors made with microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology are expected to grow by 4% in 2016 to $4.8 billion with unit shipments increasing 10% to 7.6 billion. MEMS-based sensor sales will rise with a compound annual growth rate of 5.5% in the next five years to $6.1 billion in 2020 with unit shipments growing by an annual rate of 11.9% to nearly 13.4 billion.  ASPs for MEMS-based sensors are expected to decline to $0.45 in 2020 from $0.61 in 2015.

Overall sensors will enjoy double-digit percentage annual increases in shipments with demand being strong for low-cost sensors for wearables systems, the Internet of Things and automated embedded control. However, that move to low-cost has also produced steep price erosion in several product categories, the market researcher asserts.


Annual sensor unit shipments climb as ASPs tumble. Source: IC Insights.

These sharply falling average selling prices (ASPs) can be seen in accelerometers, gyroscope chips, and magnetic-field measuring devices and this is capping annual growth of total sensor revenues in the low- to mid-single digit range.