Smartphones, tablets boost China MEMS market

Smartphones, tablets boost China MEMS market

Market news |
By eeNews Europe

The market research firm puts the strong market down to increasing use of MEMS components in smartphones and tablet computers, which has more than offset weakness in computer and consumer segments. China has become the leading location for global manufacture of mobile equipment.

The 2013 annual growth rate had only relaxed by 1 point from 20 percent in 2012 and by the end of 2017 the Chinese market for MEMS will amount to about $3.40 billion, equivalent to a five-year compound annual growth rate of 14 percent, dating from 2012. Another market research firm – Yole Developpement – estimated the global MEMS market in 2012 to be worth about $11 billion and growing at 10 percent per annum. This would make the Chinese MEMS market to be about the one-sixth of the global total.

Wireless applications of MEMS, including accelerometers, gyroscopes and MEMS microphones will account for $933 million, or 38 percent of total China MEMS sales. The data processing sector, where MEMS are used for inkjet printers as well as projectors, is suffering weak demand impacting MEMS sales. Similarly in consumer electronics the rise of smartphones and tablets has cannibalized sales of gaming platforms, digital still cameras and portable electronics such as MP3 players, IHS said.

However, consumer electronics has more potential with increased demand for MEMS for applications such as voice and gesture control of domestic equipment and wearable electronics such as smartwatches. Overall this increased use of MEMS in consumer electronics could drive that sector alone in to double-digit percentage annual growth, the firm indicated.

While China is the largest producer of electronic equipment that utilize MEMS it has almost no indigenous MEMS manufacturing. Domestic MEMS companies tend to be fabless and use overseas wafer fabrication before finishing wafers via back-end manufacturing, packaging and local testing. Recognizing gap the Chinese state has established MEMS industry incubator sites including the Suzhou Technology Institute for Nanotech Industry and the Wuxi Sensor Network International Innovation Park, said IHS.

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