Automotive applications fuel MEMS marketMUNICH, Germany The MEMS market is growing rapidly. While the strongest growth driver comes from consumer electronics, automotive are the second source of growth.
Market researcher Yole Dveloppement (Lyon, France) sees gyroscopes, accelerometers and pressure sensors as the most significant MEMS applications in the automotive context. The researchers regard pressure sensors for use in side airbags, seat occupancy detection and ESP circuits as promising emerging applications, with the latter two driven by legislation in the USA. The MEMS market volume in transportation is expected to grow by roughly 12.5 percent in the period from 2007 through 2011 when it will account for about $1350 million.
Among the automotive MEMS vendors, Bosch group ranks number one with 2007 sales of $430 million, followed by STMicroelectronics ($320 million), Freescale semiconductor ($235 million), Analog Devices ($210 million), Denso ($176 million), Infineon (through its Sensonor subsidiary, $130 million), Delphi ($116 million), and Continental AG ($56 million). In some cases however these figures are not directly comparable since they include non-automotive MEMS sales.
Recently, the rise of Sanyo systems caused Yole to publish an update to its top-30 MEMS manufacturer's statistics. According to this statistic, Bosch ranks number 3 after HP and Texas Instruments, directly followed by STM. Freescale ranks 7th. Analog Devices, Denso, Infineon, Delphi and Continental rank 9th, 11th, 15th, 16th and 23rd respectively.
In 2007, nine of the top 30 companies exceeded sales of $200 million, compared to only four companies two years ago. Nevertheless, the top 30 companies grew slower than the market average: 7 percent versus 9 percent of the overall market. This fact hints at a strong vitality of small and medium players, Yole suggests.