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Business | September 26, 2011

Smartphones and Tablets to drive MEMS sensor market

MEMS vendors range from large multi-national and multi-product suppliers such as STMicroelectronics, Bosch, Texas Instruments, and Freescale Semiconductors, down to suppliers focused on the MEMS market with relatively small product portfolios such as VTI, InvenSense, and Memstech.
Each vendor is vying for a slice of a market that will be worth more than USD 1.5 billion in 2016 for MEMS sensor and audio devices in smartphones and tablets alone.

“The MEMS market is going through a transition period, as many other semiconductor market segments have when approaching maturity,” says Peter Cooney, practice director, semiconductors. “Leading vendors understand that to be successful in consumer electronics markets, you have to have economies of scale and be able to supply a broad range of solutions.”

Certain segments of the market have emerged with continued strong growth potential, including MEMS inertial sensors and microphones. The smartphone and media tablet markets are the driving forces behind this growth.
As markets mature, component integration is the key to success, reducing BOM cost and board space while offering customers ease of design and reduced time to market. To this end, vendors are racing to diversify and increase product portfolios.

This is driving M&A activity in the MEMS market. Over the next few years, the number of vendors addressing high volume MEMS markets will shrink as larger suppliers acquire companies to increase product offerings and use their expanding portfolios to further integrate and achieve market dominance.

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