PORTLAND, Ore. Slumping car sales have results in double-digit declines in the automotive MEMS sensor market, according to market researcher iSuppli Corp.
"The shipment of cars is down by 19 percent in 2009, but since sensor content keeps growing by virtue of mandates, the sensor market is not down as much," said Jeremie Bouchaud, MEMS analyst at iSuppli (El Segundo, Calif.).
"We are predicting that the automotive market for MEMS sensors will be down by 16 percent 2009, but we expect the resumption of healthy growth in the automotive MEMS market in 2010."
Bouchard also predicted the resumption of double-digit market gains by 2011.
Sensor mandates for airbag deployment, tire-pressure monitoring and advanced vehicle stability control are forcing car makers to add MEMS sensors to more models. That is offsetting the overall downturn in the global automobile market.
Many current models already have three different MEMS sensors types: accelerometers for airbags, tire pressure sensors and a gyroscopes for stability control. All three systems will be mandatory on all U.S. passenger vehicles by 2012 and in European Union by 2014.
Two European vendors have already been affected by the slump, according to iSuppli: The closure of the MEMS quartz gyroscope division of Systron Donner Automotive late last year and Infineon's shedding of the tire pressure monitoring systems maker SensoNor to Norwegian investors last month.