Piezoelectric Crystals and Devices

Published - Nov 2001| Analyst - Thomas Abraham| Code - AVM037A
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Report Highlights

REPORT HIGHLIGHTS

  • The 2001 North American piezoelectric crystals market is estimated at $1.15 billion and will increase at an annual average growth rate (AAGR) of 10% to $1.86 billion by 2006.
  • Total consumption in 2000 was estimated at $1.27 billion. Of this total, about 47.2% represented imported products.
  • The North American industry is populated by more than 150 companies involved as manufacturers and importers.
  • Quartz crystals and devices make up nearly 99% of the market, and will continue this dominance, although government agencies continue to support R&D in new nonquartz single crystals.

INTRODUCTION

Jacques and Pierre Curie discovered the piezoelectric effect in the late 1800s. In just over 100 years, piezoelectricity moved from being a laboratory curiosity to a big . During this period, several technologies were developed to use the piezoelectric effect. In turn, each of these technologies has become an essential component of many types of electronic products.

The U.S. piezoelectric industry has undergone several boom and bust cycles. However, in the last five years several applications for piezoelectric materials have emerged. This is a result of the revolution in wireless and wireline communications. Markets have boomed in these areas, especially for piezoelectric crystals. Also, new developments in piezoelectric ceramics and ceramic/polymer composites have led to new applications and markets. However, piezoelectric quartz crystals and crystal devices still comprise the largest market segment and with the boom in the wireless industry, the average market growth rate reached double digits over the last five years.

A previous BCC report (GB-064) entitled Piezoelectric Ceramics, Ceramic/Polymer Composites and Polymers - New Developments and Markets, (published in August 1993 and updated as GB-244 in March 2001), covered piezoelectric ceramics, ceramic/polymer composites, and polymer film materials and their components. In an earlier report on piezoelectricity published in 1987, BCC also included piezoelectric crystals. This time, because of a new generation of applications and extensive growth in the piezoelectric crystal market, it has been included as a separate report based on this study.

STUDY GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

This report was issued because piezoelectric quartz crystals and devices have, during the past five years, become a booming industry. It continues to grow. Also, there have been several new piezoelectric crystal applications and devices for telecommunications and consumer-related applications. These have contributed to a need to provide a full analysis of technological trends, emerging applications, issues, and domestic and foreign competition.

This report was prepared with the following objectives:

  • to provide an overview of the various piezoelectric quartz crystals and devices, and their production technologies and applications
  • to identify the technological and issues related to commercial applications of piezoelectric quartz crystals and crystal devices
  • to analyze domestic and foreign competition among companies within each of the piezoelectric quartz crystal and device fields
  • to determine the current size and future growth of the markets for piezoelectric quartz crystals and devices
  • to determine the current size and future growth of markets for piezoelectric nonquartz single crystals
  • to ascertain which piezoelectric technologies and applications will be winners through 2006
  • to identify and profile all North American producers and suppliers of piezoelectric crystals and crystal devices
  • to identify foreign producers of piezoelectric crystals and crystal devices
  • to identify major users of piezoelectric crystals and crystal devices.

CONTRIBUTION TO THE STUDY

BCC's technical/economic study covers the markets, materials, synthesis and fabrication techniques, and new developments in piezoelectric crystals and crystal devices. It also includes current and emerging applications and a market analysis. Current size and future growth of the markets are estimated for the period 2001 to 2006. The report analyzes the competitive environment within each of the market segments and applications. It profiles all North American producers and suppliers of piezoelectric quartz and nonquartz crystals and crystal devices.

FORMAT AND SCOPE

Market segments have been analyzed according to categories, e.g., quartz crystals, crystal oscillators, crystal filters and SAW devices. In addition to these, we have provided market numbers for cultured quartz crystals and lumbered bars. Markets for nonquartz single crystals also have been estimated.

The qualitative and quantitative judgments embodied in this report are a valuable contribution to current knowledge of piezoelectric quartz crystals, crystal devices and nonquartz crystals. Moreover, this study has been conducted at a vital stage of the booming quartz crystal device industry. This is where decisions are to be made by a number of companies with regard to their future expansion strategies and reorientation resulting from a shift from military to commercial market demands.

METHODOLOGY AND INFORMATION SOURCES

The findings of this report are based on information derived from interviews with most of the producers and suppliers of piezoelectric quartz crystals, crystal devices and piezoelectric noncrystals. BCC also spoke to several industry experts. In addition, many end users were contacted to evaluate current and future demands for these materials and devices. In all, about 120 people from 100 companies and a dozen institutions were contacted for this study.

Secondary data were obtained from the World Wide Web, trade publications, technical journals and proceedings, the Quartz Devices Industry Handbook, Electronic Market Data 2000 and the U.S. Department of Commerce.

CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE STUDY AND FOR WHOM

This report is directed to the various entities interested in developments in this field, such as:

  • companies involved in developing, manufacturing and supplying advanced materials
  • companies involved in developing, manufacturing and supplying electronic devices
  • manufacturers of cultured quartz crystals and lumbered bars
  • manufacturers and suppliers of piezoelectric elements and devices
  • manufacturers of transducers, hydrophones, speakers, sonars, sonobuoys, ultrasonic elements and systems, and sensors
  • manufacturers of telecommunications equipment and cellular telephones
  • companies involved in smart materials, nanotechnology and MEMS devices
  • manufacturers of advanced materials and electronic components interested in diversification
  • venture capital companies and financial institutions interested in new and attractive investments.

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