MEMS mic to nab 25.5% of mic market
The rapidly-growing MEMS microphone installations, which nearly doubled between 2006 and 2008, hit a head wind in 2009, according to the report "Silicon Microphones and Speakers: Technology, Market Analysis, and End-Applications," by The Information Network.
"The main culprit was the cell phone business, which dropped 8 per cent in 2009," noted Robert Castellano, president of The Information Network. "In 2008, MEMS microphones grew 30 per cent but managed to eke out a meagre 7 per cent growth in 2009."
MEMS microphone technology has grown from less than 1 per cent of the 120 crore (1.2 billion) microphones sold worldwide in 2003 to 20.1 per cent of the 170 crore (1.7 billion) microphones sold in 2009.
In 2010, we forecast MEMS microphones reaching 25.5 per cent of the worldwide microphone market, as shipments increase 35 per cent to nearly 50 crore (500 million) units.
The total available market (TAM) for MEMS microphones for cell phone, consumer, headsets, and hearing aid applications will be 53.5 crore (535 million) units in 2013. At that time, MEMS microphones will garner 55 per cent of the market.
"An even bigger market is for MEMS speakers, a TAM of 112 crore (1.12 billion) units in 2013," added Castellano. "We continue to hear the occasional general market blurbs (Akustika at one time was involved as well as Carnegie Mellon) on some R&D roadmap activities for MEMS speakers but there have been no viable commercial successes to date from what we see. Basic issues are same as always—challenges of physics, size versus output, and features compared to the existing dynamic offerings. All of these need to be understood and overcome in order to be of overriding value compared to existing technology to the customer/market. Like MEMS microphones, the market will use it if it recognises the value, which in the case of MEMS speakers, has yet to be demonstrated based on what we have heard or seen."
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