Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) Technology: Current and Future Markets

Published - Feb 2006| Analyst - Andrew McWilliams| Code - SMC051B
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Report Highlights

  • Microfluidic MEMS were the largest segment of the MEMS market in 2004, with a market share of over 44%. MEMS inkjet heads totalled $1.8 billion or almost 40% of the global MEMS market in 2004.
  • Optical MEMS accounted for nearly 20% of the market in 2004 and MEMS pressure sensors over 18%.
  • Accelerometers, which have a projected AAGR of 45% between 2005 and 2010, are expected to be the second largest MEMS market segment by 2010, with over 22% of the market. Gyroscopic MEMS and particularly RF MEMS are also projected to gain significant market share between 2004 and 2010.


Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are one of the fastest growing technology areas, with sales of around $5 billion. They are expected to grow at an average annual rate of more than 20% over the rest of the decade.

MEMS are devices that integrate mechanical elements, sensors, actuators, and electronics on a common silicon substrate. Many typically have dimensions in the 1 micron to 100 micron range. They have proven to be a key enabling technology of developments in areas such as transportation, telecommunications and health care, but the range of MEMS applications covers nearly every sector. The most significant advantage of MEMS is their ability to communicate easily with semiconductor chips. Other advantages include MEMS’ compact size, reduced power consumption, lower cost, and increased reliability.

The growth in the use of MEMS has also led to the creation of supporting industries in areas such as MEMS design software, design services, specialty fabrication equipment, and fabrication facilities.

This report takes a hard look at the MEMS market and tries to provide a road map to the technologies and applications that are most likely to be successfully commercialized in the next five years. The study therefore will be invaluable to executives operating in a wide array of industries looking to utilize this very important technology.


The report contains:


  • Definitions of industry terms and milestones in the development of MEMS
  • Current and potential MEMS applications
  • Global MEMS market trends, forecasts through 2010, market shares, and industry structure
  • Factors that will influence the long-term development of MEMS
  • Profiles of the industry's leaders



Projecting the market for emerging MEMS technologies, whose commercial potential has not yet been proven, is a challenging task. This report uses a multi-phase approach to identify the MEMS applications with the greatest commercial potential and to quantify the market for these applications, as described below.

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

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

The third phase focused on quantifying the potential broader market for each short-listed MEMS application and identifying the main prerequisites for commercial success. Various methodologies and data sources were used to develop the projections, including trend line projections, input-output analysis, and estimates of future demand from industry sources.


Andrew McWilliams, the author of this report, is a partner in the Boston-based international technology and marketing consulting firm, 43rd Parallel LLC. He is also the author of numerous other Communications Co. studies, including a number of MEMS-related studies such as GB-290 Nanotechnology: A Realistic Market Evaluation; GB-310 Nanosensors; GB-314 Nanotechnology for Photonics; GB-329 Nanotechnology in Life Sciences Applications; B-159R Biosensors and Bioelectronics; B-127R Microelectronic Medical Implants: Products, Technologies and Opportunities; GB-285 Emerging RF Technologies; G-291 Surging Global Positioning Applications: Commercial, Military, Homeland Defense; and GB-342 Materials and Devices for High-Performance Sports Products.

Table of Contents & Pricing

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Published - Dec-2002| Analyst - Ralph Hensler| Code - SMC051A

Report Highlights

  • By 2007, market revenues will approach $26.4 billion, at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 19.1%.
  • Transportation and consumer products currently are two of the largest market sectors, representing respectively, some 31% and 36% of current revenues.
  • By 2005, lab-on-a-chip products and services should finally enter the market place in large quantities.
  • MEMS sales in both fiber-optics equipment and wireless systems, including next generation cell phones, will be the major market drivers in the telecom industry.
  • However, there still are impediments to growth in almost every sector.


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