Mobile device MEMS, sensors on growth path
The MEMS and sensors market for cell phones and tablets soared 36 per cent to $5 billion in 2013, according to Forward Concepts. The market is expected to further improve by 20 per cent this year, reaching $6 billion.
This analysis keeps MEMS sensors distinct from image sensors for mobile equipment, a market worth $7 billion in 2013 and touchscreen controllers at $3.45 billion in 2013. The combined market of $15.5 billion constituted 23.4 per cent of the cellular handset and tablet computer semiconductor market excluding memory, in 2013, which was worth about $65 billion and was second only to the digital base band's share of 28 per cent.
Within the MEMS category, image sensors for biometric recognition are on rapid growth clip. Some 45 million units were shipped in 2013, up 221 per cent from 2012, and the category will grow again to 145 million in 2014.
MEMS microphones, used in smartphones for their high signal-to-noise ratio, also face a bright future as they replace electret condenser microphones (ECM). They are also seeing applications that require multiple microphones such as background noise reduction, said Forward Concepts. Global revenues for MEMS microphones are forecast to reach $1.09 billion in 2014, up 15 per cent from 2013.
The image sensor market for mobile equipment cameras represent grew by 27 per cent to $7 billion in 2013. And touch capacitance controller IC market grew 20 per cent in 2013 to $3.45 billion, compared to 19 per cent growth in 2012. However, this market shows signs of moving towards an integrated display driver and touch controller, which could impact suppliers in 2014.
- Peter Clarke
EE Times Europe
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