MANHASSET, N.Y. The global piezoelectric crystal market hit $4.8 billion last year and will climb to $6.91 billion by 2012, for an annual average growth rate of 7.5 percent, Innovative Research and Products (iRap) predicts in a new market study.
According to iRap, more than 450 manufacturers and suppliers participate in the market. Crystal units (resonators) and filters dominate the product mix and will do so throughout the forecast period, the firm predicts.
The emergence of wireless communications and the increased need for wireline-based data transmissions have swelled demand for piezoelectric quartz crystals and crystal devices. Emerging industrial and consumer applications are steering the industryonce overly dependent on military demandto a more balanced mix of apps.
Data transfer must be synchronized in high-bandwidth systems, a requirement that has boosted demand for timing products. Crystal devices provide the precise timing signals needed to ensure reliable data transfer at high speeds in applications ranging from notebook computers to network switches, the study observes.
Among the seven major market segments for piezoelectric crystal frequency control devices, telecommunications has the largest market shareas much as 30 percentfollowed by consumer applications, including video games, audio, visual and amusement; computing; military and government, automotive; industrial; and medical.
The iRap study notes that in the 1980s, Japan was the world leader in mass-produced piezoelectric crystals and crystal devices. In the later part of the 1990s, however, the balance shifted, with China and Korea taking over the low-end products. Japan still supplies the high end.
At present, Japan and Korea are supplying quartz devices for microprocessor-based and extended-temperature products. China is supplying large quantities of low-end products for such application as toys and games.