Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Global market for MEMS microphone to more than double in five years

USA: Silicon microphones are among a broad range of devices known as micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), an emerging field in which various sensors and mechanical devices are constructed on a single wafer using processes developed for making integrated circuits (ICs).

The chief advantage of micromachining silicon microphones is cost. Several sensors can be processed on a chip simultaneously and can be integrated with passive and active electronic devices.

According to a new market research study from Innovative Research and Products (iRAP) titled “MEMS Microphones – A Global Technology, Industry and Market Analysis (ET-118),” silicon micro-machined microphones (also known as silicon microphones or MEMS microphones) have begun to emerge as a competitor technology to the electret condenser microphone (ECM).

The global market for MEMS microphones has reached approximately $422 million in 2012. The market is predicted to increase to $865 million in 2017, with increasingly high uptake of MEMS microphones over alternatives for a variety of applications. Thanks to Apple Inc. which has spurred on this phenomenal growth by adopting MEMS Microphones for their products, namely – iphone, ipad and itouch, hence paving the way for other smartphone and tablet manufactures to adopt the same.

MEMS microphones are more compact than traditional microphone systems because they capture sound and convert it to a digital signal on the same chip. MEMS microphone solutions developed on the CMOS (complimentary metal oxide semiconductors) MEMS platform frees consumer electronic device designers and manufacturers from many of the problems associated with ECMs.

CMOS MEMS microphones also integrate an analogue-to-digital converter on the chip, creating a microphone with a robust digital output. Since the majority of portable applications will ultimately convert the analogue output of the microphone to a digital signal for processing, the system architecture can be made completely digital, removing noise-prone analogue signals from the circuit board and simplifying the overall design.

Major findings of this report are:
* The MEMS microphones market is an attractive, and still growing, 100s of million-dollar market characterized by very high production volumes of MEMS microphones that are extremely reliable and low in cost.

* Mobile phones would consistently have the largest share through 2017, followed by laptops and tablets, camcorders, hearing aids, headphones and automotive.

* From 2012 to 2017, hearing aids will have the highest growth rate with AAGR at 27.46 percent, followed by headphones at 25 percent AAGR.

* Regionally, North America had about 25.3 percent of the market in 2012, followed by Europe at 19.7 percent, Japan at 15.7 percent and the rest of world at 39.5 percent.

* In 2012, more than 10 companies and institutions worldwide are active in the field of MEMS microphones, which can be divided in two different technological concepts – single-chip and two-chip. The number of active market participants is expected to double by 2017.

* By 2017, MEMS microphones will achieve penetrations of 92 percent in the mobile phone market segment and 95 percent in PDAs, digicams and camcorders market.

* In terms of technology, the largest share will be for two-chip integration.

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