The continued steady growth in the MEMS market overall masks wide variation across the industry's changing sectors, according to speakers presenting at SEMICON West in July.
While the consumer inertial sensor business slows, RF filters, MEMS microphones, and emerging MEMS gas and optical sensors will see strong increases. Meanwhile, demand for more integration of increasing sensor functions will likely drive MEMS suppliers to move up the value chain towards more collaboration and ultimately more acquisitions.
In its Status of the MEMS Industry 2016 report released this month Yole Développement projects continued healthy 9% average annual growth for the MEMS market through 2021 to almost $20 billion. The report factors in continued falling prices on a 13% CAGR in unit shipments.
Falling ASPs are a particular issue in the maturing consumer inertial sensor market which not so long ago drove MEMS growth. Yole now projects that segment to see little further sales growth, as falling prices continue to pressure suppliers’ margins.
Yole projects 9% average annual growth for MEMS to almost $20 billion through 2021. (Images: Yole)
“Market share position is now shifting from InvenSense to Bosch [back] to InvenSense to Bosch to ST, depending on who wins which slot in which phone each week,” says Jean-Christophe Eloy , who will provide updates on market trends at SEMICON West 2016 on July 13 in San Francisco. “This is not sustainable. It will be difficult for all three players to keep competing,” he said.
RF filters are now the bright spot, with projected 20.5% CAGR through 2021 to $3.8 billion. Growth drivers include two factors: more mobile bands require more filters and the higher-value advanced packaging required to pack multiple filters into a single package.
MEMS microphones will also see continued healthy growth of 9.1% CAGR to $1.7 billion. Phones will demand more units per device for better noise cancellation and vendors will receive higher prices per unit for improved sound quality.
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