Microsensors: MEMS, Biosensors and Nanosensors

Published - Apr 2008| Analyst - Andrew McWilliams| Code - IAS027A
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Report Highlights

  • The global market for microsensors will increase from $2.7 billion in 2007 to an estimated $3.2 billion by the end of 2008. It should reach $8.4 billion by 2013, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.3%.
  • Microelectromechanical systems accounted for the bulk (82.8%) of the microsensor market in 2007; this is expected to decline to 76.5% in 2013.
  • Biochips’ market share is expected to increase from 17.2% in 2007 to 21.6% in 2013.

INTRODUCTION

MEMS, biochips, and nano-sensors (referred to collectively in this report as microsensors) are one of the fastest growing technology areas, with sales of more than $2.5 billion in 2007 and expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.7% between 2008 and 2013.

Microsensors have proven to be a key enabling technology of developments in sectors such as transportation, telecommunications, and health care, but the range of microsensors applications covers nearly every sector. The most significant advantage of microsensors is their ability to communicate easily with semiconductor chips. Other advantages include microsensors' compact size, reduced power consumption, lower cost, and increased reliability. The growth in the use of microsensors has also led to the creation of supporting industries in areas such as design software, design services, specialty fabrication equipment, and fabrication facilities.

BCC has surveyed individual segments of the microsensor industry previously; for example, in its studies of the global market for microelectromechanical systems or MEMS (2006), nanosensors (2005), and biosensors (2004). BCC initiated the present study to bring together these related markets as well as update the findings and conclusions of the earlier reports.

The range of microsensor products and applications has grown rapidly in the past few years, but it is important to avoid ""hyping"" their prospects. Although some types of microsensors (airbag accelerometers, for example) have had great commercial success, other types (such as most types of nanosensors) have at least so far failed to live up to their proponents' expectations. Still other technologies are still at the discovery and development stages, and their eventual commercialization will require the commitment of substantial resources, with long payback periods and substantial financial risk.

To the extent that hype results in exaggerated investor expectation, it can divert investment from microsensor technologies that have real commercial potential. In the worst case, disappointed expectations can lead to a drying-up of investment funds, similar to the one that occurred in the dot-com sector after 2000.

This report takes a hard look at the market for microsensors and tries to provide a road map to the technologies and applications that are likely to enjoy the greatest commercial success in the years through 2013.

SCOPE OF STUDY

This report contains:

 

  • Descriptions of various types of microsensors including microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), biochips and nanosensors
  • The current global market status for microsensors, with trends and forecasts for growth over the next 5 years
  • Current and developmental microsensor technologies and applications
  • Discussion of the challenges that must be overcome for each market segment to reach its potential
  • Company profiles.

 

METHODOLOGY AND INFORMATION SOURCES

The methodologies and assumptions used to develop the market projections in this report are discussed at length under Detailed Market Estimates and Projections. The report carefully documents data sources and assumptions. This way, readers can see how the market estimates were developed and, if they so desire, test the impact on the final numbers of changing assumptions such as price.

This section makes some general observations concerning the report's approach to estimating the market for developmental technologies whose commercial potential has not been demonstrated, which is always a challenging task. BCC used a multi-phase approach to identify the microsensor technologies with the greatest commercial potential and quantify the market for these applications, as described below.

In the first phase of the analysis, BCC identified a ""long list"" of potential microsensor technologies (including technologies that are still under development) and mapped them against potential applications and end-user industries, such as information technology/electronics, biotechnology, and health care.

In the second phase, BCC eliminated those microsensor technologies that appear to have little likelihood of making it into commercial production in the next 5 years, through a literature review and statements by industry sources. The result of phase two was a "short list" of technologies and applications with the greatest near to mid-term commercial potential.

The third phase focused on quantifying the potential market for each short-listed microsensor technology and identifying the main prerequisites for commercial success.

The base year for analysis and projection is 2007. With 2007 as a baseline, market projections were developed for 2008 to 2013. These projections are based on a combination of a consensus among the primary contacts combined with BCC's understanding of the key market drivers and their impact from a historical and analytical perspective.

ANALYST CREDENTIALS

Andrew McWilliams, the author of this report, is a partner in the Boston-based international technology and marketing consulting firm, 43rd Parallel, LLC. Mr. McWilliams authored all three of the predecessor studies to this report (i.e., reports Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) Technology: Current and Future Markets (SMC051B); Global Market for Biosensors and Other Bioelectronics (BIO039B); and Global Nanosensor Market by Application, 2003-2009 (NAN035A). Other related studies that Mr. McWilliams has prepared for BCC include Analog and Mixed Signal Devices (SMC065A); Nondestructive Testing (MFG016E); Materials Characterization Instruments (IAS015A); Microelectronic Medical Implants: Products, Technologies and Opportunities (HLC016C); Patient Monitoring (HLC038B); and Smart and Interactive Textiles (AVM050B).

Table of Contents & Pricing

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