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Electronics Production | April 10, 2007

Sensor/Actuator market to double<br>and reach $12.7 Billion by 2011

New consumer product applications, medical devices, security systems, and never-ending growth in automotive electronics are expanding the market for semiconductor sensors and actuator devices at about twice the growth rate of IC sales, according to IC Insights' 2007 Optoelectronics, Sensors, and Discretes (O-S-D) Report.
IC Insights' newly released O-S-D Report shows worldwide sales of solid-state sensors and actuator devices growing 19% in 2007 to $6.3 billion after increasing nearly 18% in 2006 to $5.3 billion.

About 80% of solid-state sensors and actuators employ micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) technology to perform transducer functions. In sensors, transducers measure change in conditions around devices. In actuators, MEMS structures manipulate physical action in systems. Devices in this market segment include accelerometers, gyroscope devices, pressure sensors, microphone chips, magnetic-field sensors, fingerprint readers, and a wide variety of actuators used in inkjet print heads, micro-mirror display systems, radio-frequency filters, and solid-state medicine dispensers.

The 2007 O-S-D Report forecasts 30% cumulative average growth rate (CAGR) between 2001 and 2011 in the sensor/actuator market. This overall growth rate will push sensor/actuator sales to $12.7 billion by 2011, the new report concludes. Actuators are projected to lead this market segment with a CAGR of 22% per year, reaching $8.8 billion in 2011, while acceleration and yaw sensors are expected to grow at a 15% annual rate to $1.4 billion, based on IC Insights' forecast.

Historically, solid-state sensors have been dominated by automotive applications, but new uses in portable consumer electronics, communications, and industrial systems will change this market. By 2011, about 37% of sensor/actuator sales are forecast to go into automotive applications compared to more than 60% early this decade, according to the O-S-D Report. Low-cost inertial sensor designs are being introduced for high-volume consumer and portable computing systems to protect products from damage, improve wireless connectivity, or provide new user-input commands based on movement instead of keyboard entries or buttons. IC Insights believes inertial sensors (accelerometers and gyroscope devices) will become the largest product category in solid-state sensors in 2008, as shown in Figure 1.

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