Number-1 MEMS device for consumer and
mobile is gyroscope, as per IHS
As per IHS, Gyroscopes netted $655.4 million in 2011, up
a notable 66 percent from $394.5 million in 2010.
Further analytics from IHS on MEMS gyroscope is below:
gyroscopes finally displaced accelerometers last year to
become the revenue champion in consumer and mobile MEMS.
Gyroscopes will continue to reap top revenue honors in the
next few years, taking in $1.1 billion by 2015, as shown
in the figure below, well ahead of accelerometers at $705
The newfound prominence of gyroscopes means the devices
last year accounted for 41 percent of revenue for all kinds
of motion sensors in consumer and mobile applications including
accelerometers and electronic compasses, pegged at $1.6
billion. This compared to a 24 percent share in 2010 when
overall motion sensor revenue stood at $1.1 billion.
The rise of gyroscopes to the top was in large part due
to the boom in 3-axis versions of the device, used mostly
in tandem with 3-axis accelerometers for more accurate motion
sensing. While accelerometers are responsible for correctly
orienting phones and tablets to the viewer's perspective
whether the devices are held vertically or horizontally,
gyroscopes improve the motion-based interface, especially
for gaming. Emerging applications for gyroscopes in smartphones
also include optical image stabilization and navigation-related
Smartphones and media tablets are by far the main adopters
of the 3-axis gyroscope, and the blockbuster sales of the
iPhone and iPad in the fourth quarter of 2011 boosted the
3-axis gyroscope market," said Jérémie
Bouchaud, director and senior principal analyst for MEMS
& sensors at IHS. "Of the $655 million total revenue
generated by the gyroscope space, the 3-axis segment accounted
for $462 million, or 71 percent. Apple was the main consumer,
accounting for 62 percent consumption of 3-axis gyroscopes,
with other manufacturers like Samsung Electronics and LG
Electronics also ramping up their adoption of the device
Among suppliers, STMicroelectronics was the leading producer
of both gyroscopes and accelerometers, with Apple accounting
for half of the company's MEMS business in 2011. STMicroelectronics
is the sole supplier of gyroscopes and accelerometers for
the iPhone and iPad.
Moving forward, configurations known as 6-axis inertial
measurement units (IMU) featuring three accelerometers and
three gyroscopes in one "combo" package will dominate
in the sales of 3-axis gyroscopes by 2014 at the latest.
Altering the market landscape for combo sensors also is
a slew of recent product announcements for surprisingly
compact 6-axis compass modules comprising a compass and
an accelerometer in the same package, as well as 9-axis
IMUs with 3-axis electronic compasses added to 6-axis IMUs.
Bosch Sensortec and InvenSense have introduced a 6-axis
compass module and a 9-axis IMU, respectively, with a very
small form factor.
New Applications of Motion Sensors
In general, motion sensors like gyroscopes, accelerometers
and electronic compasses will continue to rule consumer
and mobile MEMS, the largest segment of an industry that
includes other MEMS sectors such as automotive, medical,
industrial, and aerospace and defense.
Aside from their use now in smartphones and tablets, motion
sensors are seeing new opportunities emerge in areas like
TV remote control applications, as well as in the super-thin
ultrabook laptops promoted by Intel Corp. New generations
of remote controls, such as those from California-based
Roku, already include a 9-axis mix of either discrete or
combo sensors-a format expected to spread rapidly.
For its part, Intel is recommending the use of accelerometers,
gyroscopes, electronic compasses and even pressure sensors
for manufacturers of the company's ultrabooks, even though
IHS believes that the combination of gyroscopes and compasses
will be present mostly in "convertible" ultrabooks-those
with a screen that can be flipped back to form a tablet-and
not in all Ultrabooks.
By 2015, both TV remote control and ultrabook applications
will add another $155 million in revenue derived from the
use of accelerometers, gyroscopes and electronic compasses,
up from a mere $9 million in 2011.
MEMS Microphones Set to Make More Noise
Based also on their use in the iPhone and iPad, MEMS microphones
likewise saw rapid growth last year in consumer and mobile
MEMS. Apple uses two analog MEMS microphones in the iPhone
4 and 4S, along with one MEMS microphone in the headset
that is sold with the phone. In addition, one digital MEMS
microphone is present in the iPad 2.
MEMS microphones are particularly important for noise suppression
when using the Siri voice command feature in the iPhone
4S. All told, revenue in 2011 for MEMS microphones reached
$373 million, up 67 percent from $223 million in 2010. Knowles
Electronics still dominates the MEMS microphone sphere,
but its share of shipments in the overall market has fallen
from 88 percent in 2010 to 75 percent last year. Several
suppliers had a breakthrough in 2011, and there are now
eight suppliers that each produce more than 10 million MEMS
microphone units, up from just three in 2010.
In another area, MEMS oscillators recently saw a surge
of interest arise in the space with the entry of three big
players. Murata, an established supplier of ceramic oscillators,
acquired VTI Technologies in October last year. Meanwhile,
IDT-the leading manufacturer of complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor
(CMOS) timing, introduced its first MEMS timing product
in November, as did NXP-a supplier of real-time clocks-during
this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Such
developments will help boost the credibility of MEMS as
a viable alternative to quartz in the timing area, IHS believes.