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JUL/AUG 2013  

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High-value MEMS market growth slows due to weak medical electronics and industrial sectors


The high-value microelectromechanical system (MEMS) market experienced soft growth in 2012, mainly due to weakness in the mainstay medical electronics and industrial sectors, according to an IHS iSuppli MEMS High-Value MEMS Market Tracker Report from information and analytics provider IHS.

Revenue in 2012 for high-value MEMS, a market characterized by the lofty average selling prices compared to other MEMS devices, amounted to $1.63 billion, equivalent to growth of 6.5 percent from $1.53 billion in 2011. While revenue was up, growth was noticeably down from the 12.5 percent expansion of 2011, according to the report.

This year will see a slightly improved 7.4 percent increase to $1.8 billion as the industry starts to recover during the second half. Growth then picks up by 2014 and rises to 10.3 percent, with 2015 and 2016 also forecast to experience solid upturns north of 9.0 percent (shown in the figure below), according to the report.

memsRev

In 2013 a 7.4 percent increase in the MEMS market to $1.8 billion is expected.

The high-value MEMS market last year suffered a deceleration in growth because of continuing slow sales in medical electronics as well as a broad-based downturn in the industrial segment, according to Richard Dixon, Ph.D., principal analyst for MEMS & Sensors at IHS. He said: In medical electronics, the market performance has been sluggish for the last 18 months, echoing global economic uncertainties.

Despite the diminished growth of 2012, the high-value MEMS market remains the second-fastest-expanding area in the broader MEMS space, coming in after the mobile and consumer market but leading the data processing and automotive segments, according to the report.

The majority of medical electronics sensors are used for diagnostics, patient monitoring and therapy. Tens of millions of pressure sensors are used and thrown away annually, with the sensors deployed to monitor the blood pressure of patients during and after major operations.

Other prominent high-value MEMS devices include pressure sensors, optical MEMS in telecommunications, wafer probes for semiconductor testing, inkjet printer heads, and accelerometers for gadgets like pacemakers.


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