BY ERIC MOUNIER, PHD. AND DIMITRIOS DAMIANOS, YOLE DÉVELOPPEMENT
The semiconductor market had its best year in 2018, reaching almost US$470 billion. However, growth was slower than anticipated due to sluggish smartphone and automotive sales.
MEMS, which follows the semiconductor market, also had a good year, but with a slower growth rate than antic- ipated. However, Yole Dével- oppement (Yole) expects the MEMS market to experience significant growth between 2019 and 2024 (Figure 1).
The market research & strategy consulting company estimates the market will ex- hibit +8.3% growth in value and +11.9% growth in units, with consumer still having the biggest share. Yole’s analysts announce, more than 60%.
Some devices will benefit from new usage: for example, MEMS printheads for high-resolution printing, and microphones for more widespread adoption of voice interface. Also, regulation will favor pressure sensor growth due to the imple- mentation of TPMS regulations in China.
For inertial MEMS, automotive and consumer will continue to be a major part of the demand, focusing mostly on combos which provide better form factors and easier integration/higher functionality.
Moreover, new applications are coming, such as medical (especially wearables) and industrial (for example, machine health monitoring) for stand-alone inertial MEMS. Also, IMU growth will be driven by automotive (i.e. robotic vehicles). Future cars could integrate MEMS mirrors, which could find new usage in solid-state LIDAR, as well as microbolometers for night vision capabilities and situational awareness in ADAS.
Yole believes smart buildings and retail will also be the impetus for infrared sensor market prosperity. On the medical side, Si continues to be adopted by microfluidics companies that develop CMOS-based biochips. Despite a slowdown in the smartphone market, 5G will drive the demand for new chips: this is the case for RF MEMS and MEMS oscillators, which will be needed in the deployments of new base stations and for the ever-growing edge computing.
Under its Status of the MEMS Industry annual report, 2019 edition, Yole has revamped its RF MEMS forecast due to a delay in the adoption of the 8 x 8 MIMO. Despite this, Yole’s analysts believes BAW filters will grow from US$2.3 billion to US$4.4 billion, from 2019 to 2024.
Last but not least, emerging MEMS like environmental MEMS, micro speakers, fin- gerprints, and auto-focus will fuel future market growth. This will be linked to new applications for more mature MEMS devices, such as key fob signal-blocking (accelerometer), gunshot localization (microphones), AI speakers, etc. Moreover, sensor fusion coupled with AI (and eventually edge computing) could stimulate new use cases and rejuvenate the MEMS market.
MEMS & sensors are an historic activity at Yole. For more than 20 years, analysts are following this industry and exchange with leading companies to identify the changes and understand technical disrup- tions. This year again, they provide a relevant technology & market analysis of this market with a comprehensive understanding of the technical challenges and business issues.
Authors: Eric Mounier, PhD. Fellow Analyst, Photonics, Sensing & Display, Yole Développement (Yole) – Dimitrios Damianos, Technology & Market Analyst, MEMS Sensors Photonics Imaging, Yole Développement (Yole)