Yole predicts the 'sensorization' of modern life

June 10, 2015 // By Peter Clarke
After the consumerization of electronics – which took the semiconductor industry from something driven by enterprise computing to its current position as the supply of components of mobile devices – comes the sensorization of electronics, and of our lives. That is according to Jean-Christophe Eloy, CEO of market analysis firm Yole Developpement.

Over the next five years dramatic unit growth in MEMS sensors will be accompanied by a similar level of average selling price attrition along with investment cycles in software, production on 300mm-diameter wafers and the creation of novel methods of detection and related sensors.

Two of the categories likely to succeed are MEMS for photonics applications and gas sensors, according to Yole. This is based on an assessment of multiple criteria required for success in the market.

The global MEMS sensor market was worth about $11.1 billion in 2014, according to Yole. The company forecasts the market will be 30 billion units shipped in 2020 and be worth $20 billion.

Yole expects unit growth to enjoy a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the period 2015 to 2020 of 17 percent. However, strong price pressure, will result in revenue growth CAGR of just 3 percent over the same time period.

The expected growth is expected to come from the "sensorization" of people's lives in wearables, the Internet of Things, medical electronics and in the automotive industry with autonomous vehicles as a target.

But that will include price reductions. "For example, it costs just $0.025 to produce a Bosch BMA355 accelerometer," said Eloy. Motion sensing functions are becoming as cheap as temperature sensors were a few years ago, he said.

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