With the iPhone 4 paving the way, global demand for microelectromechanical system (MEMS) devices in cell phones will rise robustly during the coming years, helping the total MEMS market to expand in healthy measure at least through 2014, according to new IHS iSuppli research.
Following two years of decline, the MEMS market enjoyed a strong 2010, with revenue rising by 18.3 percent compared to 2009. While growth will decelerate in 2011 after the boom of 2010, revenue still will increase at nearly a double-digit rate, climbing 9.5 percent. This growth will vastly exceed the 5.1 percent expansion of the overall semiconductor industry. And with the MEMS market set to enjoy double-digit growth from 2012 through 2014, market revenue will rise to $10.81 billion in 2014, up from $5.97 billion in 2009.
Cell phones will generate the strongest demand growth during the coming years, with MEMS revenue to the segment rising to $3.73 billion in 2014, nearly triple from $1.30 billion in 2009.
“The Apple iPhone 4 was a key milestone for the MEMS market, marking the first cell phone to use a MEMS gyroscope, and one of the first mobile handsets to use two MEMS microphones for noise suppression,” said Jérémie Bouchaud, director and principal analyst for MEMS and sensors at IHS. “This has had an enormous ‘me-too’ impact on the rest of the cell phone industry, with a flood of companies offering MEMS-equipped handsets.”
Less than five cell phone models in 2010 included MEMS gyroscopes. This year, however, will see the introduction of more than 45 phones and tablets equipped with gyroscopes—most of them based on the Android operating system.