sensors moving into more high-volume systems applications, revenues for
MEMS-based inertial devices have reached new record-high levels each
year since 2005, based on IC Insights’ market data. Acceleration/yaw
sensor sales crossed the $1 billion level for the first time in 2008,
then passed the $2 billion mark in 2011, according to IC Insights.
According to the OSD forecast, the market will pass the $3 billion level
in 2014 and the $5 billion level in 2014.
sensor unit shipments are also growing rapidly, reaching a record-high
volume of 2.75 billion devices in 2012, which was a 20 percent increase
from the previous peak of 2.30 billion units in 2011, IC Insights said.
The firm is forecasting a 20 percent increase in acceleration/yaw
sensor shipments in 2013 to 3.30 billion units worldwide.
average selling prices (ASPs) of inertial sensors are also falling fast,
IC Insights said. In 2012, ASPs fell 10 percent to below $1 for the
first time, partly due to intense competition between device suppliers
aiming to serve high-volume applications IC Insights said. The new OSD
report projects that acceleration/yaw sensor ASPs will drop another 7
percent in 2013 to 86 cents.
In the next several years, ASPs
are expected to stabilize, resulting in an average annual decline of 2
percent between 2012 and 2017, according to the new report.
Well, while I can not exactly state accelerometers had it coming, one has to wonder if the innovation pipeline has kept up with the glut of cheaper MEMS supply. To that end, it would serve the MEMS developers to spur ecosystems where innovation is nurtured. There is only so much that the handset and tablet makers can do... but for the accelerometers to proliferate on a larger scale as in IoT, I think smaller and nimble startups need to be supported.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.