IMU & High Performance Inertial MEMS 2011

  • September 2010
  • -
  • Yole Developpement

High performance motion sensing is gaining interest in many industries. In the military & aerospace areas, the use of Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs) and other systems based on high-performance gyroscopes has been widespread for navigation, flight control or stabilization functions for decades. Today we see many industrial and healthcare applications emerging, driven by the possibility to integrate new functionality at low cost, mostly thanks to the recent developments in MEMS accelerometer and gyroscope technology.

The market for IMUs is estimated to be $1.55B in 2009, dominated by defense and aerospace applications. Yole sees this market growing at a 9% annual growth rate, to reach $2.60B in 2015. Industrial, commercial naval and offshore applications will be the most dynamic with 16.5% yearly growth, when the aerospace and defense markets will be limited to a 5.5% and 6.8% annual growth.

Several technologies are currently on the market, RLG and FOG-based systems being the most widespread and still benefiting from progresses in photonics. However the recent and rapid development of tactical-grade MEMS gyroscope technologies has the largest impact on the market landscape and on the competition. It is crucial for the companies involved in those markets to invest in the right technologies and partners, depending on the end-markets which are targeted. Different strategies are observed: some companies carefully invest in selected technologies like the market leader Honeywell, while others love all inertial technologies, like Northrop Grumman.

MEMS industrial and tactical-grade type of sensors is the most dynamic technology. Yole sees the market growing from $361.8M in 2009 to $604.6M in 2015 for single MEMS accelerometers and gyroscopes or assembly of MEMS accelerometers / gyroscopes. However many technical and commercial challenges are predicted for the players involved in MEMS: how to guarantee a high level of vacuum for keeping high performance over the years, how to bring down the costs when most of the applications are in the 100 or 1000 unit range per year, why is it so important to avoid export restrictions like ITAR, what are the best business partners to enter new markets which are sometimes captive…

The recent availability of tactical-grade MEMS IMUs is clearly attractive for a wide range of applications. Indeed many applications will find interest in low-cost devices while it also opens new market opportunities such as precision guided munitions or small size UAVs. This explains why nearly each major IMU manufacturer has a MEMS technology today, although the status of developments is not the same for all players.

This report is more than a simple update of the “IMU market 2007-2012” report. The involvement of Yole Developpement on the high-end inertial market has continued to grow in the last couple of years, with discussions with key companies involved in the field all over the world and participation in many conferences. Although this market remains very complex to monitor, with a wide range of technologies, applications and players, Yole has been able to make a few modifications since the last version to be closer to the reality when it comes to IMU prices, penetration, number of systems in each vehicle, and market shares. Moreover a complete analysis of the impact of MEMS technology and on the geographic description of the market (including the dynamic Asian and Israeli markets) has been included. Yole also had the chance to have Mike Perlmutter, who has more than 30 years of experience in the inertial navigation industry, provide an important contribution to this report.


Gyroscope technologies: DTG, RLG, FOG, HRG, Quartz, MEMS
Accelerometer technologies: Electromechanical pendulous type, Piezo, MEMS
Level of performance: Industrial, tactical, inertial navigation and strategic grade
Worldwide market metrics: 2009 – 2015 market ($M, M units, ASP)
2009 market shares
150+ companies cited in the report
Report is a 300+ slides PowerPoint presentation
Excel datasheet included
20+ key applications for IMUs are described: Civil aircrafts, General aviation, Civil helicopters, Space satellites, Spacecrafts & skyrockets, Civil & paramilitary UAVs, Military fighters, Military transport aircrafts, Defense UAVs, Military & special mission helicopters, Missiles, Guided munitions, Combatant ships, Armored vehicles, Soldier equipment, Commercial ships, Underwater vehicles: AUVs, ROVs & submarines, Oil drilling, Trains, Healthcare & sport, Antenna stabilization & pointing, Mapping instruments…
15+ applications described for MEMS accelerometers: Pacemakers, Blood pressure monitoring, Physical activity monitoring, Seismic sensors – Geophones, Inclinometers, Antenna stabilization, Vibration monitoring, Directional drilling & borehole survey, Mapping instruments, Model helicopters & high end toys, UAVs flight control, Aircraft backup instruments, Cockpit instrumentation/AHRS, Missile Guidance, Precision Guided Munitions, Bombs & Rockets, Armored vehicles, Military training systems…
15+ applications described for MEMS gyroscopes: Human motion capture, Physical activity monitoring, Antenna Stabilization, Directional drilling & borehole survey, Camera stabilization, Model helicopters and high-end toys, UAVs flight control, Backup instruments, Cockpit instrumentation, Missile Guidance, Precision Guided Munitions, Bombs & Rockets, Platform stabilization, Military training systems, Agriculture...


The objectives of this report are the followings:

To provide market data on high performance Inertial Measurement Units and MEMS accelerometers / gyroscopes: key market metrics & dynamics
Unit shipments, revenues and average selling price
Market shares for each category of application
Industrial, tactical, inertial navigation and strategic grade sensors are taken into account
To provide application focus on key existing markets and most promising emerging ones
Architecture of the systems, functions that are used, new features and specification requirements
Insight about future technology trends & challenges
Pricing analysis and expected evolution
To provide a deep understanding of inertial sensor value chain, level of integration & players
Quasi-exhaustive list of sensor manufacturers worldwide with technology offer
List of key integrators worldwide
Analysis on the new players and potential new entrants with MEMS technology


High-performance accelerometers and gyroscope suppliers
Understand the system level technology trends and requirements for each application
Evaluate market potential for your components depending on performance and technology
Understand the differentiated value of your products and technologies
Identify new business opportunities and partners
Monitor and benchmark your competitor’s advancements
IMU module and AHRS or INS suppliers
Evaluate the market potential of your product portfolio
Define diversification strategies on new applications
Find the best technologies to integrate and the best suppliers depending on your target markets
Identify new business opportunities and partners
Have an exhaustive analysis of the competition on a broad range of IMU field
MEMS material, equipment, or foundry / packaging service suppliers
Identify new business opportunities and prospects
Understand the level of activity of your customers
Understand what are the applications that will drive the volumes in 2015
Integrators of inertial solutions (INS, AHRS, sensors…)
Find the best technologies to integrate and the best suppliers depending on your target markets
Understand what will be the future applications to develop by taking benefit on the recent advances in inertial technologies
Financial & strategic investors
Understand the structure and value chain of the high-end inertial industry
Estimate the potential of new devices such as tactical-grade MEMS gyroscopes…
Get the list of main key players and emerging start-ups of this industry worldwide


Agiltron, AIMS - Zetiq Development, Airbus & ATR, Al Cielo, American GNC, Analog Devices, Applanix, Ascension, ASM (Automation Sensorik Messtechnik), Astrium, Atlantic Inertial Systems, Autoflug, Azimuth, BAE, Bejing Aerospace, Boeing, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, CASC: China Aerospace, Clymer Tech, Cobham, Colibrys, Comac, Corrsys-Datron , Crossbow, CSRI Elektropribor, Daihen, Dassault Aviation, Denel, Diehl BGT Defence, Doosan DST, EADS Astrium, Elbit Elop, Elbit Systems, Endevco, Eurocopter, Expertisa, Fanuc, Finmecannica, Fitzoptika, Freescale, Fugro, Fuji, GE Energy, GEM elettronica, General Dynamics, Genesys, Georgia Tech, Gladiator technology, G-nius, Goodrich, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) - Edgewood Technologies, Hitachi, Honeywell, Horiba, HP, Hyundai Rotem, IAI Tamam, IGI mbH, i-mar, IMEGO, Imperial College London, India Space Research Organization (ISRO), Inertial Science, Innalabs, InterSense, ION, ISNAV, Israel Aerospace Industries, Israel Military Industries, IXSEA, JAE - Japan Aviation Electronics Industry, John Deere, Kawasaki heavy industries, Kearfott, Kinemetrics Inc, Kionix, Kongsberg, KVH, L3 Communication, LITEF, Lockheed Martin, Loral, Lumedyne Technologies, Matra, MBDA, Melexis, Memsense, Michigan Aerospace Corp., Micro Infinity, Microbotics , MicroInfinity, MicroPilot , Microstrain, Movea, Nera Networks, Nexter, NG Italia – Lital, Northrop Grummann, NovAtel, Omni Instr., O-Navi, Onera, Optolink, Orbit Technology Group, PCB Piezo, Physical Logic, Poogsan FNS, Pruftechnik, Qinetiq, Rada, Rafael, Ramsys, Raytheon, Raytheon Anschütz, Rheinmetall, Rockwell Collins, Roketsan, RUAG, Saab, Sagem, Sandia National Laboratories, SBG Systems, Schlumberger, SDI: Seven Dimension Information Corp, Selex, Sensonor, SensorDynamics, Sensorex, SensR, Sercel, Sherbone Sensors , Silicon Audio, Silicon Design, Silicon Sensing Systems SSS, Southern Methodist University, Stockholm Precision Tools, Summit Instruments, Symphony Acoustics, Syowa Sokki, Systron Donner Industrial, Taïwan National Space Organization (NSPO), Teknol, Tethers Unlimited, Thales, Tokimec, Tronics, Vigor Technology, VTI, Watson Industries, Xi’an Chinastar, XSens, Yaskawa Electric, Yishay Sensors, and many others…

Table Of Contents

IMU and High Performance Inertial MEMS 2011
Table of content

Executive summary 4

Introduction, definitions and methodology 16

Impact of MEMS accelerometer technology 53

- Status of developments worldwide

- Applications for high-performance MEMS accelerometers

- 2009-2015 market for high-performance MEMS accelerometers

- 2009 market shares for high-performance MEMS accelerometers

Impact of MEMS gyroscope technology 84

- Status of developments worldwide

- Applications for high-performance MEMS gyroscopes

- 2009-2015 market for high-performance MEMS gyroscopes

- 2009 market shares for high-performance MEMS gyroscopes

- MEMS technology: challenges for the next years and limitations

2009-2015 IMU market overview 117

- Global 2009-2015 IMU market in value

- Global 2009-2015 IMU market in volume

- Technology market shares

Commercial aerospace IMU market 121

- Civil aircrafts

- General aviation

- Civil and paramilitary UAVs

- Civil helicopters

- Space satellites

- Spacecrafts and skyrockets

Defense IMU market 152

- Military fighters

- Military transport aircrafts

- Defense UAVs

- Military helicopters

- Missiles

- Guided munitions

- Combatant ships

- Armored vehicles

- Others

IMU market for industrial, commercial naval and offshore markets 203

- Commercial ships

- AUVs and ROVs

- Oil drilling

- Trains

- Mapping instruments

- Stabilization systems

- Life science

- Others

IMU competitive landscape 226

- IMU sales of the key players

- 2009 IMU market shares

- Motivation for ITAR-free products

Geographic description of the IMU market 231

- Activity in North America

Applications trends

Key integrators

Value chain and competition

- Activity in Europe

Applications trends

Key integrators

Value chain and competition

- Activity in Israel

Applications trends

Key integrators

Value chain and competition

- Activity in Asia and other emerging markets

Applications trends

Key integrators

Value chain and competition

Technology review 262

- Accelerometer technologies

- Gyroscope technologies

Synthesis 310

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