PARIS French research and strategy consulting company Yole Développement provided an analysis on the impact of the economic slowdown on the MEMS market as it expects it will be significant in 2008, down $500 million, and very significant in 2009, down $1.5 billion.
"The total MEMS market will reach $7.6 billion in 2008 and will still reach $8 billion in 2009," noted Jean Christophe Eloy, CEO of Yole Développement.
According to Yole Développement (Lyon, France), the global MEMS market is due to recover between now and 2012 to reach $15 billion to $16 billion. The number of new applications remains high, and these are mainly gaining market share on existing technologies, bringing lower costs, more integration, more and new functions.
As always in a downturn, Yole said it predicts winners will eventually be the companies that have been able to invest in innovative devices, deliver new functions and new applications. "So the race for innovation will just increase."
In its report, Yole specified that the MEMS automotive business is expected to remain flat in 2008, compared to 2007, at $1.3 billion. The main players deplore low visibility for the first and second quarters of 2009 and, added Yole, the MEMS automotive business is likely to decrease by 10 percent, to $1.03 billion in 2009.
Yole said the impact of the downturn on the consumer business is less clear. The research company, however, said it expects that consumer related MEMS sales in 2008 will reach $3.26 billion, compared to an expected $ 3.6 billion.
Yole predicted that the first and second quarters of 2009 will be weak and anticipated a 5-percent growth in 2009, with a total MEMS consumer market reaching $3.44 billion.
Other markets seem to be less affected at the moment, Yole concluded.