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Components | February 23, 2012

MEMS revenue to soar

Accelerometers, gyroscopes and other MEMS devices to generate over USD 6 billion in mobile revenues by 2016.
A new report from Juniper Research finds that annual revenues generated by MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) devices built into mobile phones including sensors, audio, displays and RF will exceed USD 6 billion by 2016, as the mobile device market accelerates, including smartphones, tablets, eReaders and Ultrabooks.

The report identifies three different contributing categories to this billion dollar opportunity for MEMS devices: those already deployed (accelerometers, magnetometers & gyroscopes), those currently in initial stages of deployment (displays, RF devices, pressure sensors & microphones) and future applications, such as joysticks, temperature and humidity sensors, speakers & pico-projectors.

Inertial sensors are driving the market

The report finds that inertial sensor adoption, including accelerometers, gyroscopes and magnetometers, has mainly depended on advanced availability and capability of gaming and navigation applications, thereby becoming ubiquitous in all mobile devices, particularly in smartphones and tablets. This along with the continuous growth of mobile device shipments is driving MEMS sensors forward.

Report author Nitin Bhas observes: "It is worth noting that MEMS sensors are expected to become an important differentiator for mobile device manufacturers towards enabling different capabilities and functionalities, including location based and navigation services. There are lots of additional functionalities that smartphones and tablets will pick up over time and those capabilities have already started to appear such as stabilisation control."

Opportunity for Audio and RF MEMS

Other findings from the report highlight the opportunity for other MEMS devices including microphones and RF components in mobile:

- As device vendors are expected to differentiate themselves with high-quality audio input and to integrate multiple microphones, the total number of MEMS microphones present in mobile devices shipped will exceed 2 billion in 2016.

- MEMS RF devices are expected to be found in most products designed for use in wireless products and this is indicated by recent mass production deals in RF MEMS.

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