Sensor, actuator markets shrug off price erosion

Sensor, actuator markets shrug off price erosion

Market news |
By Peter Clarke

The market research firm states that strong unit growth is the result of the spread of automated embedded controls, wearable systems and the Internet of Things.

Meanwhile the average selling price (ASP) of sensors and actuators declined by 0.9 percent in 2016 versus an annual average of a 9.3% decline during the four previous years (2012-2015), said IC Insights. 

The sensor market was worth $7.3 billion in 2016 up 14 percent from $6.4 billion in 2016 when the market grew just 3.7 percent. Actuators did better than sensors with 19 percent growth to $4.5 billion, IC Insights said. It added the sensor market would show compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.5 percent of the five years from 2016 to 2021, while the actuator market would do better with a CAGR of 8.4 percent.

All sensor product categories and the large actuator segment registered double-digit sales growth in 2016. Sensor/actuator shipments grew 17 percent in 2016 to a record-high of 20.3 billion units from 17.4 billion in 2015, when the volume also increased 17 percent.

Strong 2016 sales recoveries occurred in acceleration/yaw-rate motion sensors (+15 percent), magnetic-field sensors and electronic compass chips (+18 percent), and the miscellaneous other sensor category (+20 percent) after market declines were registered in 2015.  Sales growth also strengthened in pressure sensors, including MEMS microphone chips, (+10 percent) and actuators (+19 percent) in 2016. 

IC Insights predicts sales of acceleration/yaw sensors growing 9 percent in 2017 to about $3.0 billion, sales of magnetic-field sensors (and compass chips) rising 8 percent to nearly $2.0 billion, and pressure sensors increasing 8 percent to $2.7 billion this year.  Actuator sales are projected to grow 8 percent in 2017 to about $4.9 billion.

Next: Thanks for the MEMS

MEMS technology supports pressure sensors, microphone chips, acceleration/yaw motion sensors, and actuators and was behind about 82 percent of sensor/actuator revenues in 2016.

MEMS-based product sales climbed 15.4 percent in 2016 to a record-high $9.7 billion after rising 5.1 percent in 2015 and 5.8% in 2014. MEMS-based sensors and actuator sales are forecast to rise 7.9 percent in 2017 to $10.5 billion and grow by a CAGR of 8.0% in the 2016-2021 period to $14.3 billion.

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