MEMS industry is growing | Automation.com

MEMS industry is growing

MEMS industry is growing

September 8, 2014: The MEMS industry is growing. Yole Développement (Yole) announces a $24B market in 2019. More and more applications are using the existing devices. In parallel, MEMS companies are getting stronger in term of sales… This is the position of the MEMS industry today, detailed by Yole Développement (Yole) in its latest report, Status of the MEMS Industry 2014 (August 2014 edition).

No single brand new MEMS device has been launched, since the silicon microphone in 2003. Numerous new devices like autofocus, RF switches, energy harvesting, micro fuel cell… have been announced years ago and are still struggling to enter large volume production, mainly because of the Nessy effect: when companies are developing a new device, most of the time, they are targeting consumer applications. This strategic choice means that companies have to move in production their single sample in millions of devices per month or per week, in a very short time. Under this context, such time-to-market is always a challenge for MEMS players. Indeed, MEMS companies have to solve manufacturing issues, test issues… and reach yields, compatible with the consumer area.

So, the MEMS industry is facing a paradox … A significant number of the overall new devices is possible candidate to support the impressive growth of the MEMS business; in parallel, design and manufacturing infrastructure is today not able to bring such disruptive innovations from working prototypes to high-volume production. “This is the main issue of the MEMS industry, since 2003”, explains Jean-Christophe Eloy, President & CEO, Yole Développement. “The MEMS silicon microphone generated hundreds of millions dollars sales 10 years later. Since then, no new innovative device, with a similar success, has been launched”, he adds.

All along its daily interviews with the key players of the MEMS industry and based on its expertise, Yole’s team identifies a lot of incremental innovations: for example, gyroscopes and accelerometers moving from 1 axis to 3 axis, combined in the same package, then in the same silicon wafer… But sensing principle is often the same. And targeted market value is limited, even if related applications have been enlarged a lot and if market volume, in units, is exploding.
How can the MEMS industry solve such big issue?

 

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