MEMS Gyroscopes Replacing Entrenched Technologies - New Technology

With the ability to sense and measure rotational motion becoming a critical component for several automotive and military applications, revenues of MEMS (MicroElectroMechanical Systems) gyros will grow from $279 million in 2002, to $396 million in 2007, reports In-Stat/MDR. The high-tech market research firm finds that, with MEMS gyroscopes quickly matching the performance parameters of older gyro technologies, their smaller size and declining cost are rapidly opening the doors to new markets.

“MEMS devices continue to expand into more applications with solutions that exceed current technologies in terms of performance, size, and price. Micromachined gyroscopes are no exception,” says Marlene Bourne, a Senior Analyst with In-Stat/MDR. “MEMS gyros are making great strides in displacing entrenched technologies, particularly ring laser gyroscopes, and fiber optic gyroscopes.” In fact, ten of the top 12 IMU (Inertial Measurement Units – the combination of gyros and accelerometers) suppliers are either currently offering or actively developing MEMS gyro-based IMUs. And of the 57 IMUs available or known to be in development, nearly 50% use (or will use) both MEMS gyros and MEMS accelerometers.

In-Stat/MDR has also found that:

  • At present, sales of nearly all MEMS gyros are to the automotive and military markets, with 99% of the gyros sold as part of an IMU. That will change little over the next five years, although sales of stand-alone gyros into consumer applications will no doubt increase if the average selling price can indeed drop below $10 as suppliers suggest.
  • MEMS gyro unit shipments will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 24.2% from 2002 to 2007.

One factor that could have a big impact on gyro revenues is Segway’s recent establishment of a distribution channel in Korea. This seems to be just the type of thing that the Asia-Pacific region may enthusiastically embrace (due to the much different perspectives on public transportation), which may very well lead to a boom in Segway sales, and thus MEMS gyros as a whole.

The report, Market Snapshot: MEMS Gyroscopes, provides a snapshot of the MEMS gyro segment, as it exists today, discussing the products that are currently available, the companies that are developing them, the end-uses that will drive gyro sales over the next five years, and, interestingly enough, how MEMS gyros are creating increased opportunities for accelerometers. Forecasts of unit shipments, average selling prices, and revenues of MEMS gyros are provided through 2007.

Posted 8th December 2003

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