High performance motion sensing is gaining interest in many industries. In the military & aerospace areas, the use of Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs) and other systems based on high-performance gyroscopes has been widespread for navigation, flight control or stabilization functions for decades. Today we see many industrial and healthcare applications emerging, driven by the possibility to integrate new functionality at low cost, mostly thanks to the recent developments in MEMS accelerometer and gyroscope technology. ( http://www.bharatbook.com/
The market for IMUs is estimated to be $1.55B in 2009, dominated by defense and aerospace applications. It sees this market growing at a 9% annual growth rate, to reach $2.60B in 2015. Industrial, commercial naval and offshore applications will be the most dynamic with 16.5% yearly growth, when the aerospace and defense markets will be limited to a 5.5% and 6.8% annual growth.
Several technologies are currently on the market, RLG and FOG-based systems being the most widespread and still benefiting from progresses in photonics. However the recent and rapid development of tactical-grade MEMS gyroscope technologies has the largest impact on the market landscape and on the competition. It is crucial for the companies involved in those markets to invest in the right technologies and partners, depending on the end-markets which are targeted. Different strategies are observed: some companies carefully invest in selected technologies like the market leader Honeywell, while others love all inertial technologies, like Northrop Grumman.
MEMS industrial and tactical-grade type of sensors is the most dynamic technology. It sees the market growing from $361.8M in 2009 to $604.6M in 2015 for single MEMS accelerometers and gyroscopes or assembly of MEMS accelerometers / gyroscopes. However many technical and commercial challenges are predicted for the players involved in MEMS: how to guarantee a high level of vacuum for keeping high performance over the years, how to bring down the costs when most of the applications are in the 100 or 1000 unit range per year, why is it so important to avoid export restrictions like ITAR, what are the best business partners to enter new markets which are sometimes captive…
The recent availability of tactical-grade MEMS IMUs is clearly attractive for a wide range of applications. Indeed many applications will find interest in low-cost devices while it also opens new market opportunities such as precision guided munitions or small size UAVs. This explains why nearly each major IMU manufacturer has a MEMS technology today, although the status of developments is not the same for all players.
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Status of the MEMS Industry
World MEMS Players Database
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