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MEMS the word

04 February 2011 | By Mark Osborne | News > Fab Management

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It is not only NAND Flash memory that is benefiting from a product no one predicted would exist therefore drive specific IC demand, but soaring demand for Apple’s iPad and Android-based alternatives, tablet style devices is having a positive effect on demand for MEMS devices, according to IHS iSuppli. Though still pegged as the second major MEMS market after smart phones, MEMS in the emerging tablet market is expected to sales rise to US$140.4 million this year, up 373% from a mere US$29.7 million in 2010.

The market research is projecting that in 2011, the consumer electronics and mobile market for MEMS will grow by more than 25%.

“With their focus on providing compelling user interfaces, tablets are emerging as a major growth area for MEMS,” noted Jérémie Bouchaud, principal analyst for MEMS and sensors at IHS. “MEMS accelerometers and gyroscopes play a key role in tablets, utilized not only for automatic screen rotation and tilt compensation for the compass but also for motion-based user interfaces. MEMS filters such as bulk acoustic wave duplexers are also used in 3G tablets, and pressure sensors and MEMS microphones likewise will join the fray in 2011. All this will result in the expansion of MEMS sales in tablets and help drive the growth of the overall market for MEMS consumer electronics devices and mobile devices.”

STMicroelectronics is the dominant player in the MEMS market, having gained nearly a 22% market share that is nearly, double that of its nearest rival, Avago.

MEMS sensors and actuators are expected reach US$2.07 billion in revenue this year, up 26.2% from US$1.64 billion last year.

Over the next five-years the market could top US$3.71 billion in 2014.

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