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MEMS microphone shipments set for rapid growth, says iSuppli Corp

24 September 2009 | By Mark Osborne | News > Fab Management

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Microelectromechanical System (MEMS) microphone shipments are set to more than triple through to 2013, according to iSuppli Corp. The growth is due to the growth in their use in mobile phones as well as other applications such as laptops. Worldwide MEMS microphone shipments are set to reach 1.1 billion units in 2013, up from 328.5 million in 2008.

“MEMS microphones are truly one of the success stories in the MEMS market,” said Jérémie Bouchaud, director and principal analyst, MEMS, for iSuppli. “Market shipments are set to exceed 1 billion in 2013, largely because these MEMS are becoming less expensive as the volume increases. Silicon microphones also outperform conventional microphones in terms of size, scalability, and sound quality. The simplification of applications like noise cancellation and beam forming for directional microphones using MEMS will further boost their acceptance.”

“After five consecutive years of double-digit growth, global MEMS microphone shipments will rise by only 7.5 percent in 2009,” Bouchaud observed. “With the weak rise in unit shipments and decline in pricing, global revenue will drop to $132.4 million in 2009, down 2.4 percent from $135.7 million in 2008.”

The market research firm said that poor sales in 2009 are attributed to Motorola.

“Motorola was the first company to widely adopt MEMS microphones, making extensive use of them in its best-selling ultra-thin RAZR handsets,” Bouchaud said. “The company accounted for about 30 percent of global shipments of MEMS microphones for mobile handsets in 2008. However, the company has suffered a major downturn, having fallen to the world’s No.-4 position in the global handset market in 2008, down from No.-2 in 2006. Motorola is continuing to lose handset share in 2009. This has seriously impacted MEMS microphone sales.”

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