A new study predicts automotive electronic stability
control (ESC) systems will rock the MEMS market in the next four years, nearly
doubling its revenue while forcing sensor makers to cut prices and add
iSuppli Corp., a market intelligence firm,
says ESC systems will soar to 47.7 million units in 2012, up from just
23.1 million in 2007. Because the ESC systems need MEMS (microelectromechanical
systems) sensors to detect yaw in vehicles, the firm says MEMS will see a
similar jump, reaching sales of $715 million by 2012, up from $378 million in
for the sudden rise in MEMS sales is a mandate from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
that calls for all new light vehicles to adopt ESC by September 1, 2011. For automakers,
compliance is gradual, starting with 55 percent of new vehicles in 2008 and climbing
to 75 percent in 2009 and 95 percent in 2010, before reaching 100 percent in 2011.
the ESC phenomenon boosts the MEMS market, however, it will force MEMS
manufacturers into more fierce competition, the study suggests.
transition from an expensive, optional feature to a standard function in the
space of just a few years will yield openings for newcomers and pose threats to
established second-tier suppliers," writes Richard Dixon, senior analyst for
MEMS at iSuppli. "The huge and highly visible growth opportunity in ESC sensors
will make for an interesting battleground as prices are driven down by
increased competition, and tier-one suppliers gain a wider choice of
manufacturers have said in the past year they plan to add features to
their products while cutting costs. Many are creating sensor clusters that
combine dual-axis accelerometers with MEMS-based gyroscopic sensors. The
clusters could enable the creation of modules that would provide common information
for stability control systems, airbags, parking brakes and other automotive features.
Most suppliers believe the integration of such systems will begin to gain
momentum over the next four years.
industry is thinking that there may be multiple systems that need to draw on
inertial measurements," says Dave Monk, MEMS automotive product manager for
Freescale Semiconductor. "Electronic stability control could use it; airbags
could use it; even suspension systems could use it."