Nearly all major categories of MEMS have seen, or may soon see, applications in consumer products, reports In-Stat. As a result, the worldwide MEMS market in consumer electronics will grow from $727 M in 2006 to over $1 B by 2009, the high-tech market research firm says.

MEMS will expand to a broad array of consumer applications including game consoles, portable consumer electronics devices (such as digital camcorders) and GPS devices. “In the longer term, MEMS memory, MEMS fuel cells and other types of MEMS devices could also join the list,” says Steve Cullen, In-Stat analyst.

“However, these technologies are expected to initially find usage in other product areas that are less cost sensitive, with application in consumer electronics products unlikely until after 2010.”

Recent research by In-Stat found the following:

• Pressure sensors have the greatest potential in consumer electronics in the short-term, followed by

• At least two firms are introducing MEMS resonators and oscillators with the intention of taking a piece of the long established crystal market.

• MEMS microphones have been a recent success because of rapid adoption in the mobile handset market, where their small size, ease of handling and competitive price has resulted in double-digit market share.