Suppliers of MEMS-based sensors are logging good growth thanks to mandated automotive safety systems, including electronic stability control (ESC) and tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS), according to IHS Inc. Players with strong positions in gyroscopes, accelerometers and pressure sensors needed in these systems also grew as well, according to the market research firm.
The automotive MEMS market reached $2.6 billion in 2014 with the top 10 MEMS suppliers accounting for 78 percent market share, according to the IHS H1 2015 report on Automotive MEMS report. The market is expected to reach $3.4 billion by 2021 at a compound annual growth rate of 3.4 percent. The biggest product segment drivers will be the four main sensor types – pressure, flow, gyroscopes and accelerometers.
The top MEMS supplier in 2014 was Bosch with $790 million of devices sold last year, which is significantly higher than its nearest competitor, Sensata with device sales of $268 million. Bosch’s portfolio of MEMS devices includes pressure, flow, accelerometers and gyroscopes, and has a leading position in more than 10 key applications, said IHS. The report finds that Bosch tallied strong sales in ESC and roll-over detection applications, and key engine measurements such as manifold absolute pressure (MAP) and mass air flow on the air intake, vacuum brake booster pressure sensing, and common rail diesel pressure measurement.
Sensata moved to second place in 2014 ahead of Denso and Freescale due to its strength in safety and powertrain pressure sensors, and its acquisition of Schrader Electronics, which gave the company a leading position in TPMS applications, said IHS. It also leads in harsh applications such as exhaust gas pressure measurement.
Freescale comes in at number three although it is second to Bosch in airbag sensors and “has made great strides in its supply of pressure sensors for TPMS applications,” said IHS.
The weakened Yen caused Denso to drop two positions to number four in the ranking despite good results last year, according to the report. Denso is a big player in MAP and barometric pressure measurement, ESC pressure and accelerometers. The company also leads in MEMS-based air conditioning sensing and pressure sensors for continuous variable transmission systems, and supplies exhaust pressure sensors to a major European OEM, said IHS.
Rounding out the top five is Analog Devices, which IHS said is well positioned in supplying high-g accelerometers and gyroscopes for safety sensing - airbag and ESC vehicle dynamics systems, respectively.
Other top 10 suppliers include Infineon, Murata and Panasonic, which also offer key sensors for automotive safety applications. “Infineon is among the leading suppliers of pressure sensors to TPMS systems, while Murata and Panasonic serve ESC with gyroscope and accelerometers to major Tier Ones,” said IHS.