Microsensor Technologies and Applications Offer Big Rewards with Risk

December 14, 2015

Wellesley, Mass., December 14, 2015 – To the extent that hype results in exaggerated investor expectation, it can divert investment from microsensor technologies that have real commercial potential. BCC Research reveals in its new report that the technologies and applications likely to achieve commercial success during the forecast period will require considerable financial risk and resource commitment.

A sensor is a device that responds to a physical stimulus (e.g., thermal energy, electromagnetic energy, acoustic energy, pressure, magnetism, or motion) or to the presence of a particular chemical or biological entity by producing a signal (usually electrical).  A microsensor typically ranges between a submicron (<0.1 micron) to a millimeter (1,000 micron) in size. For the purposes of this report, microsensors fall into three classes: microelectromechanical sensors (MEMS), biosensors and nanosensors.

Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), biochips, and nanosensors (referred to collectively in this report as microsensors) comprise one of the fastest-growing technology areas. In 2015, the global market for microsensors totaled almost $10.9 billion. By 2020, it should reach more than $18.9 billion, reflecting a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.7%. The MEMS sensors segment, which captured the bulk of the global market with a 60.3% share in 2014, should see its share fall to 50.7% in 2020. The biochips segment is anticipated to increase its market share to 46% in 2020, up from 35.4% in 2014. Meanwhile, the nanosensors segment should see its market share fall from 4.3% in 2014 to 3.3% in 2020.

Life sciences was the largest user of microsensors in 2014, capturing nearly 44% of the market, followed by the automotive sector at over 24% and consumer products at almost 16%. During the forecast period, the life sciences applications segment should increase its market share to about 52%, while automotive and consumer applications will lose market share, decreasing to 21% and 15%, respectively.

The rapid growth of the global market for microsensor technologies and applications has not come without setbacks and challenges, as BCC Research analyst Andrew McWilliams explains.

“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 enjoyed less success,” McWilliams says. “Still other technologies remain at the discovery and developmental stages, and their eventual commercialization will require the commitment of substantial resources, with long payback periods and substantial financial risk.”

MEMS: Biosensors and Nanosensors (IAS027D) examines MEMS, global market trends, industry structure, market dynamics and market shares. The report also identifies growth drivers and opportunities, and projects CAGRs through 2020.

Editors and reporters who wish to speak with the analyst should contact Steven Cumming at steven.cumming@bccresearch.com.

MEMS: Biosensors and Nanosensors( IAS027D )
Publish Date: Dec 2015    

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