IHS: Revenue for digital MEMS microphones
to reach $315 Million in 2013
IHS has estimated the revenue for digital MEMS microphones
will reach $315 million in 2013, compared to $261 million
for the analog MEMS equivalents. IHS says the market this
year still will favor analog MEMS microphones, which are
projected to achieve revenue of $267.4 million compared
to $226.1 for digital. However, digital MEMS will gain the
upper hand in 2013 when analog's share dips below 50 percent,
as shown in the figure below.
"Apple once again is setting the pace in the adoption
of innovative new MEMS technologies," observed Jérémie
Bouchaud, director and senior principal analyst for MEMS
& sensors at IHS. "Having already established the
market for MEMS accelerators and gyroscopes in the iPhone
and iPad lines, Apple now is leading the transition to digital
MEMS microphones by employing them in its iPad 2 and the
The IHS iSuppli Teardown Analysis of the new iPad indicates
that the tablet uses a single MEMS-based digital microphone
from AAC Acoustic Technologies Holdings Inc. The iPad 2
employs a digital MEMS microphone from Analog Devices Inc.
Vendor analysis by IHS:
Digital MEMS microphones have been available since 2006,
when Akustica-now Bosch-started to ship them into laptops
from Fujitsu. The following year, Knowles and Sonion-now
part of TDK-EPC-also started shipments.
Overall, however, the penetration of digital MEMS microphones
remained relatively modest because of the lack of a credible
alternative source beyond Knowles, and their high price-typically
50 percent more expensive than analog MEMS.
Knowles had managed to keep the price high because of the
lack of viable competitors.
All this changed in 2011 with the arrival of new players.
STMicroelectronics entered the market and focused exclusively
on digital MEMS microphones, allowing them to emerge as
strong alternative volume suppliers in 2011, with more aggressive
Akustica introduced a new and more competitive digital
MEMS microphone in early 2011 with a 30 percent die size
reduction. As a result, Akustica grew its share in the laptop
business from 4 percent in 2010 to 15 percent in 2011, grabbing
share away from Knowles at customers such as Hewlett-Packard.
STMicroelectronics-already the No. 1 supplier of accelerometers
to Nokia-started to deliver MEMS microphones to the Finnish
original equipment manufacturer in 2011 and became the top
source within one year ahead of Knowles. As a result, Knowles'
share of digital MEMS microphone market revenue fell to
59 percent in 2011, down from 81 percent in 2010.
Overall, the arrival of new suppliers with more aggressive
pricing boosted the penetration of digital MEMS microphones
in laptops in 2011 from 18 percent in 2010 to 40 percent
The top suppliers in 2011 for digital MEMS microphones
included, in descending order: Knowles, for laptops, tablets
and handsets; Analog Devices, for the iPad 2; Bosch (Akustica),
for laptops; STMicroelectronics, to Nokia and also for laptops;
Goertek, to Lenovo; AAC; and BSE.