TMCNet:  Industry Report: Fortunes Reversed �MEMS to Become Buoyant

[February 24, 2011]

Industry Report: Fortunes Reversed �MEMS to Become Buoyant

TechZone360 Contributor
Global Industry Analysts, Inc.,  which provides a comprehensive review of market trends, issues and other strategic industry activities, has in its research report titled 'Micro Electromechanical Systems, MEMS, Devices" analyzed the global market by product categories and concluded that though the industry is currently in doldrums, there are indicators that there will be significant growth in the near future.
You can blame it all on the recession, which hasn't been kind to the MEMS industry. The credit crisis triggered prices, but a decline in the purchasing power of the consumer saw weakened consumer demand for a wide range of electronic devices, telecommunications equipment and even home appliances. High levels of unemployment exacerbated the already negative impact on the market.
The automobile industry was affected the most and depressed automotive production, which was an offshoot of fall in vehicle sales, pushing auto majors into the red. Europe and North America appeared to be hit particularly hard. With very little investment in the automobile sector, cheaper models made an entry and demand for MEMS devices, normally used in vehicles, suffered a severe setback.
Consumer electronic devices suffered a similar fate with the consumer segment for specific devices taking a big hit. Industrial production didn't fare any better with manufacturing, commercial and economic activity declining.
Even the telecommunication industry was not spared. With network operators having to prune investment outlays for the years 2008 and 2009, demand for increased bandwidth and fiber optic based communication could not be met. To make matters worse, the debt market also dried up and projects were derailed. Thus, the Telecom network equipment market was tranquilized and so was the market for optical MEMS in telecom equipment.
The complete meltdown of the real estate, housing and construction industry, resulted in major disruptions of fiber to green field projects, and a reduced demand for FTTH technologies brought down the level of orders for Optical MEM,  albeit temporarily.
With the recession receding, there is hope for the MEMS market. Device manufacturers are trying to break into newer application areas and Microsensors and Microactuators, which represent the hallmark of the 'electromechanical' domain are finding use in countless applications. The MEMS market has begun to raise its head.
Given its innate potential and inherent value, MEMS technology continues to witness radical changes in other sectors like industrial, healthcare, and semiconductor, wherein MEMS+IC are influencing the traditional architecture of System on Chip.
From 2011 onwards, industry analysts have forecast encouraging growth due to demand for pico projectors and new MEMS flat-panel technologies for consumer electronics. ESC mandates will help spur the sales of accelerometers, gyroscopes, and high-pressure sensors, whereas TPMS mandates will propel MEMS pressure sensor sales by 2015. Europe and the U.S. will account for a major share of the global demand for MEMS.

Mini Swamy is a contributing editor for TechZone360. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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