MEMS Business Finally Reaches $10B in 2011

The microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) business is changing definitively. 2011 has been a year of transition for the MEMS market.

Farmington, CT, December 16, 2011 --( Global Information, Inc. (GII) presents "Status of the MEMS Industry 2011" by Yole Developpement.

The microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) business is changing definitively. 2011 has been a year of transition for the MEMS market. It is transforming into big business with clear signs of adoption and wide diffusion of these devices. Sensors, especially MEMS sensors, are becoming the center of all systems, enabling them to interact with the external world and sense what is happening. Not only is this a positive trend for the MEMS industry, but also for each of the companies involved in the MEMS business, ranging from smart munitions to cardiac rhythm management and from smart phone functionality to oil drill monitoring.

According to Jean-Christophe Eloy, President & CEO of Yole Developpement notes that "there is still a long road to drive before reaching a $100B business; the integration of MEMs devices is still complex for system manufacturers, delaying fast market adoption." MEMS manufacturers ability to simplify the system integration work will directly impact the growth of MEMS business. A strong collective push from MEMS companies needs to be put in motion in creating an MEMS ecosystem that can simplify the integration of MEMS into larger systems and modules. Such integration will enable non-MEMS specialists to use them without a steep learning curve, which is still the case for many applications.

Whats likely for the future of MEMS?
"The growth of MEMS business has always been linked to new applications of existing devices (more inertial devices in more mobile systems) and brand new devices (antenna matching finally on the market with MEMS technology, introduction of the first MEMS based micro fuel cells, Mirasol MEMS based display having its first volume application)," explains Jean-Christophe Eloy. "This is exactly what will happen in 2012, a few new devices will be introduced in volume production and more units will be produced in inertial sensors, microphones, electronic compass, pressure sensors... and always more pressure on price pushing the device maker to redefine their value proposition by, for example, selling functions and not only devices. This is where the major changes will happen in 2012. If MEMS companies want to preserve their margins, they have to remember that MEMS is all about selling functions and micro-systems."

According to Yole, these facts also explain why so many MEMS companies are now the target of acquisition by semiconductor or system markers. First, MEMS companies have reached real maturity on the market; and second, the venture capital firms that have invested 10 years ago in MEMS start-ups are now able to start seeing returns on their investments. A significant number of semiconductor companies have identified MEMS as a growing area. Yole expects growth in MEMS unit volume for 2012.

For more details on the MEMS Industry report:

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