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Industry News

MEMS Gyroscopes Making Strides in Replacing Entrenched Technologies

February 28, 2004
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With the ability to sense and measure rotational motion becoming a critical component for several automotive and military applications, revenues of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) gyros will grow from $279 M in 2002 to $396 M 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 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 optics gyroscopes.” In fact, ten of the top 12 inertial measurement units (IMU – the combination of gyros and accelerometers) suppliers are either offering or actively developing MEMS gyros-based IMUs. Of the 57 IMUs available or known to be in development, nearly 50 percent 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 percent of all 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 units shipments will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 24.2 percent 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 much different perspectives on public transportation), which may very well lead to a boom in Segway sales and thus MEMS gyros as a whole.

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