SAN JOSE, Calif. — New consumer product applications, medical devices, security systems and automotive electronics are expanding the market for semiconductor sensors and actuators at about twice the growth rate of IC sales, according to IC Insights Inc.
IC Insights said worldwide sales of solid-state sensors and actuator devices are growing 19 percent in 2007 to $6.3 billion after increasing nearly 18 percent in 2006 to $5.3 billion.
The report forecasts 30 percent cumulative average growth rate (CAGR) between 2001 and 2011 in the sensor/actuator market. This overall growth rate will push sensor/actuator sales to $12.7 billion by 2011, the new report concludes.
Actuators are projected to lead this market segment with a CAGR of 22 percent per year, reaching $8.8 billion in 2011, while acceleration and yaw sensors are expected to grow at a 15 percent annual rate to $1.4 billion, according to the firm.
"About 80 percent of solid-state sensors and actuators employ micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) technology to perform transducer functions,'' according to the firm.
''In sensors, transducers measure change in conditions around devices,'' according to the firm. ''In actuators, MEMS structures manipulate physical action in systems. Devices in this market segment include accelerometers, gyroscope devices, pressure sensors, microphone chips, magnetic-field sensors, fingerprint readers, and a wide variety of actuators used in inkjet print heads, micro-mirror display systems, radio-frequency filters, and solid-state medicine dispensers.''
Historically, solid-state sensors have been dominated by automotive applications, but new uses in portable consumer electronics, communications, and industrial systems will change this market.
''By 2011, about 37 percent of sensor/actuator sales are forecast to go into automotive applications compared to more than 60 percent early this decade, according to the report.
''Low-cost inertial sensor designs are being introduced for high-volume consumer and portable computing systems to protect products from damage, improve wireless connectivity, or provide new user-input commands based on movement instead of keyboard entries or buttons,'' according to the report.
IC Insights believes inertial sensors (accelerometers and gyroscope devices) will become the largest product category in solid-state sensors in 2008.