PORTLAND, Ore.—The micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) chip market is booming along with the high-profile consumer electronics devices using them, propelling a $1.5 billion MEMS chip market in 2010, according to market forecaster iSuppli Corp.
Cell phones dominate this growth, led by the phenomenal successes of Apple's iPhone and other smartphones which copy its sensor complement, according to iSuppli (El Segundo, Calif.) MEMS accelerometers and gyroscopes are already used in digital cameras, gaming controllers and automobiles, but by 2014 Apple's iPad will have pioneered the new touchscreen tablet space, helping to propel the MEMS chip market to over $3 billion by 2014, according to the firm.
MEMS chips revenue will grow about 23 percent in 2010 from last year's $1.3 billion, powered by continued demand from its traditional markets—printers, automotive, medical, communications, aerospace and defense—according to iSuppli. However, mobile consumer devices are growing faster than the other segments and are projected by iSuppli to continue increasing their market share until they becoming the largest MEMS market segment by 2014.
Cell phones adopting accelerometers and gyroscopes are the fastest growing market segment, boosting consumer sales in devices which already include iPods, remote controls and portable navigation units. Also the fast growing eBook and touchscreen-tablet markets are also adopting MEMS sensors, accounting for $105 million of the over $3 billion market by 2014.
MEMS sensors and actuators in cell phones, however, will continue to dominate with 53 percent of the market, or $821 million in 2010, according to iSuppli. However, other consumer devices will start using more MEMS chips over the next few years including projectors, laptops, hard disks, game controller and digital still cameras, with new categories like eBooks and touchscreen tablets gaining ground, the firm said.
Accelerometers remain the fastest selling MEMS chips, but other types of MEMS devices are slated to grow more quickly over the next four years, including gyroscopes, BAW filters, microphones and displays, according to iSuppli. New types of MEMS devices just being introduced will also add significantly to the overall market, including pico-projectors, RF MEMS switches and varactors. New MEMS devices are predicted to grow from $33 million last year to over $1.3 billion by 2014, iSuppli said.