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Accelerometers will become top MEMS device by 2013

Posted: 01 Jun 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:accelerometers  MEMS  accelerometer demand  MEMS market 

Accelerometers in recent years have emerged as a critical input device for some of the world's hottest electronic products, causing shipments to rise. This will make accelerometers the top-selling MEMS device by 2013, according to iSuppli Corp.

The global MEMS accelerometer market is predicted to expand to Rs.8,605.07 crore ($1.7 billion) in 2013, up from Rs.4,797.07 crore ($947.7 million) in 2007.

Global MEMS market revenue forecast

Global MEMS market revenue forecast (Click to view full image)

"Due to this rapid sales growth, accelerometers by 2013 will displace the current leading MEMS products—inkjet heads and Digital Light Processing (DLP) chips—to become the dominant type of MEMS device sold worldwide in 2013," said Jérémie Bouchaud, principal analyst, MEMS, for iSuppli. "Consumers' desire for motion-sensing in smart phones and video game systems will boost demand for accelerometers."

The boom in accelerometer demand will come as a boon to the health of the overall MEMS market. Although global MEMS revenue will decline by 8 per cent in 2009—the second decline in market history following a 7 per cent decrease in 2008—accelerometers will still manage 1.8 per cent growth. Accelerometer revenue will rise by 14.1 per cent in 2010 and will maintain double-digit percentage growth in 2011 and 2012.

"A major catalyst for the rise in accelerometer sales is pricing," Bouchaud noted. "Accelerometers broke the magic $1 barrier in 2008, making them attractive in a larger number of products. Their prices will continue to decline in the coming years, widening their appeal beyond smart phones to reach the wider mobile handset market."

In 2009, revenue from consumer and mobile applications for accelerometers is expected to exceed that of automotive applications. Until now, Automotive has been the biggest application by far for accelerometers, but this area now is suffering from the global collapse of car production.

Automotive applications accounted for 40 per cent of global accelerometer revenue in 2008, down from 78 per cent in 2006. In contrast, consumer electronics and wireless accelerometer revenue rose from 22 per cent to 58 per cent during the same period.

STMicroelectronics takes lead
In 2006, the top 5 accelerometer suppliers—Freescale, Analog Devices, Bosch, VTI and Denso—almost exclusively served the automotive market. However, by the end of 2008, STMicroelectronics had taken the lead in accelerometers based on its significant success in supplying the burgeoning consumer and wireless communications markets.

STMicroelectronics' global accelerometer revenue rose to Rs.1,113.60 crore ($220 million) in 2008, up by nearly a factor of eight from Rs.146.79 crore ($29 million) in 2007. The company's accelerometer market share rose to 20 per cent in 2008, up from 4 per cent in 2006.

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