LONDON – The market for MEMS gyroscopes was $655.4 million in 2011, up 66 percent from $394.5 million in 2010 and displacing accelerometers as the revenue champion in consumer and mobile MEMS, according market research firm IHS (Lexington, Mass.).
The growth is attributed to strong demand for smartphones and tablet computers and Apple's iPhone and iPad in particular. And the growth is expected to continue in the next few years taking the MEMS gyroscope annual market to $1.1 billion by 2015, well ahead of MEMS accelerometers at $705 million.
Gyroscopes accounted for 41 percent of revenue for all kinds of motion sensors in consumer and mobile applications including accelerometers and electronic compasses, pegged at $1.6 billion. This compared to a 24 percent share in 2010 when overall motion sensor revenue stood at $1.1 billion, IHS said.
Source: IHS iSuppli, March 2012
The three-axis gyroscope, usually deloyed alongside the three-axis accelerometer and magnetic compass has applications in navigation and optical image stabilization. By 2015, TV remote control and ultrabook applications are expected to add $155 million in inertial MEMS revenue up from $9 million in 2011.
"Of the $655 million total revenue generated by the gyroscope space, the 3-axis segment accounted for $462 million, or 71 percent. Apple was the main consumer, accounting for 62 percent consumption of 3-axis gyroscopes, with other manufacturers like Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics also ramping up their adoption of the device last year," said Jeremie Bouchaud, director and senior principal analyst for MEMS and sensors at IHS.
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The industry hasn't waited. It was already doing this to the tune of $9 million worth of MEMS in 2011, according to IHS-iSuppli.
So nothing is stopping the industry, and the market will grow from $9 million in 2011 to $155 million in 2015, according to IHS-iSuppli. Other opinions are available.
That was my conclusion. MEMS accelerometers are more mature product with more applications outside mobile consumer and therefore a lower ASP. MEMS gyroscopes are more recent innovation with lower volume and fewer suppliers and so with higher unit prices.