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Report: MEMS Gyros Replacing Older Technologies

Photonics.com
Dec 2003
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Dec. 9 -- With the ability to sense and measure rotational motion becoming a critical component for several automotive and military applications, revenues of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) gyroscopes will grow from $279 million in 2002 to $396 million in 2007, reports high-tech market research firm In-Stat/MDR. With MEMS gyros quickly matching the performance parameters of older gyro technologies, their smaller size and declining cost are rapidly opening the doors to new markets, the company said in a new report.

"MEMS devices continue to expand into more applications with solutions that exceed current technologies in terms of performance, size and price, said Marlene Bourne, a senior analyst with In-Stat/MDR. "Micromachined gyroscopes are no exception. MEMS gyros are making great strides in displacing entrenched technologies, particularly ring laser gyroscopes and fiber optic gyroscopes."

In fact, the company said, ten of the top 12 suppliers of inertial measurement units (IMUs) -- the combination of gyros and accelerometers) are either currently offering or actively developing MEMS gyro-based IMUs. And 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 sales of nearly all MEMS gyros are to the automotive and military markets, with 99 percent of the gyros sold as part of an IMU. The company said sales of stand-alone gyros for consumer applications will likely increase if the average selling price can drop below $10, as suppliers suggest. MEMS gyro unit shipments will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 24.2 percent from 2002 to 2007, the company said.

InStat said Segway's recent establishment of a distribution channel in Korea could have a big impact on gyro revenues. "This seems to be just the type of thing that the Asia-Pacific region may enthusiastically embrace (due to the much different perspectives on public transportation), which may very well lead to a boom in Segway sales, and thus MEMS gyros as a whole," the report said.

For more information about the report, "Market Snapshot: MEMS Gyroscopes" (#IN030884EA), visit: www.instat.com



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