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Sector Snapshot: Global Microsensors Market to Hit Nearly $6 billion in 2011

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Microsensor market growth should double in 2016 to $12 billion. (Image: Flavio Takemoto)
Microsensor market growth should double in 2016 to $12 billion. (Image: Flavio Takemoto)

BUSINESS

  • MEMS sensors expected to be worth over $3 billion in 2011
  • Nanosensor market worth estimated at $6.5 million for 2011
  • Microsensor benefits: compact design, compatibility with semiconductor chips, minimized power consumption and lower costs

Microsensors – MEMS, nano-sensors and biochips – are a fast-growing technology group that is driving innovation across telecommunications, healthcare, transportation and many other major industries.

Their compact design, compatibility with semiconductor chips, minimized power consumption and lower cost are key benefits.

What Are Microsensors?

  • MEMS, or Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems, are miniature structures used with mechanical elements, sensors, actuators and electronics. They usually have a 1-micron to 100-micron (1 micron = 1 millionth of a meter) dimension range.
  • Nanosensors – sensors on a nanoscale or that have a nano-engineered structure – transmit data and are used primarily for medicine and building nano-sized computer chips.
  • Biochips are no bigger than a fingernail and can carry out hundreds or thousands of biochemical reactions in a few seconds, allowing researchers to quickly screen for disease diagnosis, decode genes and detect hostile agents.

Sector Statistics (source: BCC Research)

  • Overall, the global microsensor market is expected to grow to close to $6 billion in 2011, up from over $5 billion in 2010; growth should double in 2016 to $12 billion, marking a more than 15% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next five years.
  • MEMS sensors are expected to be worth over $3 billion in 2011, increasing by a nearly 16% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to hit $6.5 billion in 2016.
  • Nanosensor market share should increase to 0.3% from 0.1%, which although it is the smallest market share marks the fastest growth; 2011 worth is estimated at $6.5 million, jumping to $38 million in 2016 – for an impressive expected 43% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).

Key Players

  • Texas Instruments, Hewlett Packard, Robert Bosch, STMICROelectronics, Canon, Seiko Epson, Lexmark, Avago Technologies, Panasonic and Freescale Semiconductor are the top 10 leading MEMS companies in the world, according to an industry study released in 2010 by Yole Developpement, an independent firm that publishes research on MEMS, compound semiconductors, nano technology and life sciences.

Recent Business Win

  • On March 22, 2011, the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency awarded a close to $6 million contract to microsensor experts at Precision Sensors & Honeywell Aerospace Microelectronics to build a miniature gyroscope for precision-guided ships, aircraft, vehicles, munitions and individual combatants.

Upcoming Events

  • Industry experts will unite at the upcoming EuroNano Forum from May 30-June 1 in Budapest, Hungary.

By Sarah Dunbar for
Sarah Dunbar has been an editor and journalist for over eight years, covering trends in energy, economy and technology for international publications.

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