The global MEMS-based oscillator market size was valued at USD 135.00 million in 2021. It is projected to reach USD 1,027.76 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 25.3% during the forecast period (2022-2030). Microelectromechanical system (MEMS) oscillators are timing instruments that generate highly stable frequencies, used to sequence electronic systems, manage transferring, define radio frequencies, and measure elapsed time. Microelectromechanical systems called MEMS resonators aid MEMS oscillators in defining stable frequencies. For MEMS clock generators to provide numerous outputs for systems, more than one frequency is needed. As an alternative to quartz crystal oscillators, MEMS oscillators are created and developed because they provide better durability against vibration and mechanical stress and dependability about temperature variation. They are lower in size, suitable for many end products, and offer reliability, excellent frequency stability, and vibration resistance.
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Advancements in Silicon-Based Manufacturing and Packaging Techniques
In recent years, significant research and development have been put forth to create solutions that could counteract quartz oscillators' disadvantages. Over the past few years, micro-electromechanical system (MEMS)-based oscillators have become a potential alternative to quartz oscillators. The development of adequate quartz crystal technology substitutes has been made possible in recent years by improvements in silicon-based manufacturing and packaging techniques. For the design of resonators, silicon MEMS is regarded as superior process technology.
The resonator and broader timing technology have been made possible by scalable traditional silicon production, mainly due to its capacity to integrate with other circuits in conventional semiconductor packages. MEMS oscillators have been used in specialized 125 MHz frequency applications. However, in terms of phase noise and jitter, they have not been able to perform as well as quartz. A phase-locked loop IC that can synthesize various output frequencies is integrated with a silicon resonator using MEMS technology to create the MEMs oscillator.
Complex Designs Leading to High R&D Costs
A quartz crystal reference and a short oscillator circuit are used in a crystal oscillator. A MEMS oscillator requires a PLL circuit, which uses a silicon resonator as its oscillation source and adjusts its temperature coefficient and frequency to account for manufacturing errors. These straightforward constructions show that crystal oscillators are made to be precise clocks. The production process for MEMS oscillators is superior to that of conventional crystal oscillators. Still, it depends on non-standard methods for processing semiconductor wafers, which are not generally used in the industry. As a result, fewer manufacturing options are available, and preparing for company continuity is challenging. Such elements are causing the development of MEMS oscillators to have substantial R&D costs. Due to the significant R&D expenses associated with MEMS oscillator development, fewer MEMS oscillator advancements may result from fewer companies functioning in the market.
Growing Demand in Consumer Electronics Industry
The market for MEMS-based oscillators is anticipated to be stimulated by the regular new launches of consumer electronics goods. Significant growth in MEMS-based oscillators is anticipated with applications across smartphones and wearables, aiming to create smaller, lower-power IoT-enabled devices. Activity trackers are now in higher demand in the consumer markets, as evidenced by the rising number of devices delivered each year, followed by smartwatches, wearable cameras, and smart glasses. These devices' improved MEMS technology makes wireless communication and timing solutions simpler.
MEMS timing technology advancements also considerably improve reliability while reducing physical space and power requirements in wearable applications. The demand for smaller, higher frequency capable, and less timing slop-based MEMS oscillators for consumer devices is anticipated to increase with the introduction of 5G networks, particularly in consumer markets. Additionally, the rise in connected wearable technology is anticipated to fuel market expansion.
The global MEMS-based oscillator market is segmented by type and end-user industry.
Based on type, the global MEMS-based oscillator market is bifurcated into temperature compensated oscillators (TCXO), spread spectrum oscillators (SSXO), voltage control oscillators (VCXO), digitally controlled oscillators (DCXO), and other types.
The temperature compensated oscillator (TCXO) segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 24.3% during the forecast period. In general, temperature-compensated crystal oscillators (TCXOs) are preferable when a precise frequency source is needed in a constrained space and at a reasonable price. The market has seen tremendous growth and investment from manufacturers in recent years. As a result, there are numerous businesses on the market that are selling a wide range of TCXO in a wide range of packages and mounts. A few fundamental factors, including stability performance, power dissipation, power requirements, TCXO packaging, and output format and level, are used to pick the best TCXO for an application.
Some of MEMS TCXO over conventional versions include durability in complex working environments, aging, resistance to degradation owing to mechanical vibration, and less frequency shift due to vibration. The market for 5G equipment may strongly encourage the use of MEMS TCXO. The intrinsic weakness of conventional quartz TCXOs, thermal lag, and gradients between the resonator and the temperature sensor are eliminated in MEMS TCXOs by placing two MEMS resonators on the same die.
PLL and Spread-Spectrum Clock Generator (SSCG) technology are used by the Spread Spectrum Oscillator (SSXO) to modulate and synthesize from the input crystal's frequency. To comply with the Electro Magnetic Compliance (EMC) standard, the measured radiated energy at the fundamental and harmonic frequencies is lowered. The internal factory setup function makes the flexible selection of output frequency, modulation rate, and spread ratios possible. Some of the main applications of SSXO include multi-function printers, media players, wired and wireless networking devices, LCD panels, smart TVs, household appliances, industrial motors, and video surveillance. The LVCMOS outputs, which have a frequency range of 1 to 141 MHz and a duty cycle of 45 to 55%, can be enabled by the MEMS SSXO. MEMS SSXO is preferred for timing applications in consumer and industrial electronic devices, particularly those that use batteries, because they operate at low voltages and with small current usage.
Based on the end-user industry, the global MEMS-based oscillator market is bifurcated into automotive, aerospace and defense, consumer electronics, IT and telecom, and other end-user industries.
The consumer electronics segment owns the highest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 24.7% during the forecast period. According to technical experts, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) are ten times more reliable than other quartz oscillators. These oscillators may eventually be replaced by more efficient alternatives due to changing demands as they age and are reviewed for reliability. New version launches for Consumer Electronics products are anticipated to drive the market for MEMS-based oscillators. Cable television systems, personal computers, digital cameras, radio systems, cell phones, and wearable technology are examples of devices that utilize MEMS-based oscillators. Consumers increasingly consider wearables' battery life when making purchases.
Traditionally, engineers use longer idle time by putting microcontrollers and other power-consuming components in a low-power sleep state to extend battery life. However, the systems still require a real-time clock (RTC) to manage scheduled events and keep the wall clock on time, even in the lowest power sleep phases. The crystal oscillators market is expected to shrink sharply during the forecast period since consumers are more likely to select MEMS solutions. Numerous suppliers with MEMS-based products have already entered the market. However, crystal oscillators have not been replaced by these alternatives.
Recent advancements in networking and communications equipment brought forth by trends like 5G, edge computing, network synchronization, and data centers have made the IT and telecom sector one of the top industries luring MEMS oscillator makers. For frequency control applications like telecommunication and data transfer, oscillators are essential. Telecommunications systems like SONET SDH need a high-stability system clock to prevent time slippage or data loss. The market demand for MEMs-based oscillators is anticipated to be driven by the ongoing advancement of telecommunication technology due to trends like IoT devices.
Base stations, data centers, fiber optics, small cells, short-range wireless modules, antenna modules, BLE SoC, and RF transceivers are telecommunication equipment that uses MEM oscillators. In addition, small cells provide a cost-effective solution for filling in coverage gaps, boosting bandwidth, and getting the networks ready for 5G without the need to construct expensive macro sites. As a result, the market for small cells and, by extension, the market under study are anticipated to grow in response to the growing commercialization of 5G. Macro base stations by themselves are anticipated to leave a large number of places unconnected because more high-frequency bands will be used for 5G deployments. Therefore, using small, low-powered cells to enhance user experience, especially in cell-edge areas, becomes inevitable.
The global MEMS-based oscillator market is bifurcated into four regions, namely North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
Asia-Pacific Dominates the Global Market
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Asia-Pacific is the most significant shareholder in the global MEMS-based oscillator market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 25.8% during the forecast period. The growing need for wearable technology, such as fitness activities, smart watches, medical monitors/devices, etc., forms the core foundation of businesses in the area. This demonstrates that the market for MEMS-based oscillators in the Asia-Pacific region's tremendous development potential. Additionally, as consumption upgrades gather momentum and tech-savvy consumers are prepared to pay for such devices to embrace a more convenient and tech-driven life, smart wearables are also becoming fashionable in the region. Companies have opened their R&D and manufacturing facilities in the area thanks to the region's vast supply of raw materials and affordable labor and construction expenses. Mobile operators, online service providers like WeChat, and device makers like Xiaomi and Huawei are all very engaged in the market and are collaborating for market dominance. According to a recent study by a Chinese government think tank, the port city and manufacturing center in the country's southeast produces almost 80% of the world's intelligent wearables.
North America is expected to grow at a CAGR of 25.5%, generating USD 335.18 million during the forecast period. According to estimates, North America holds a substantial market share and is one of the world's top innovators and pioneers in technological uptake. Maxim Integrated Products Inc., Microchip Technology Inc., and SiTime Corporation are MEMS-based solid oscillator manufacturers in the area, significantly contributing to the MEMS-based oscillator market. Vendors are employing various techniques, such as new product development, to combat the escalating market competition and fluctuating demand for these oscillators. The United States is one of the world's biggest markets for wearable electronics, and the area is known for being the center of crucial worldwide technology developments.
Furthermore, the region is well represented by significant firms that pour a lot of money into research and development projects, keeping it at the forefront of technological advancement in the sector. In 2022, North America will have the highest percentage of 5G connections made using wearable technology. The US is expected to have a significant market share over the projected period, as companies like Fitbit and Apple generate considerable amounts of money there.
The Europe region is a significant driver and adopter of contemporary technology and is home to some of the most significant tech hubs in the world. The United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain are a few of the key countries in the area that account for a sizable percentage of the MEMS-based oscillator market. Vendors are employing various techniques, including partnerships, collaborations, and new product development, to combat the escalating market rivalry with the dynamic demand for these oscillators.
For instance, in January 2021, Anglia, an independent distributor based in the UK, established a regional franchise partnership with Abracon, LLC (Abracon). The cooperation intends to give Anglia clients access to Abracon's expanded timing portfolio. The distribution deal is anticipated to assist ILSI, MMD, Oscilent, Fox, and other Abracon subsidiaries like Ecliptek (a brand specializing in quick-turn programmable crystal and MEMS oscillator devices). Customers in the area have been actively embracing wearable technology, especially fitness trackers. In addition, Smart sensor clothing made with nanotechnology is offered by businesses like Pireta Ltd., based in the UK, to assist hospitals and nursing homes with ongoing physiological monitoring and emergency care.
It is anticipated that Latin America's increasing use of smart wearables will expand the market for MEMS-based oscillators over the forecast period. Companies that sell smart wearables in these developing economies may find opportunities in nations like Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina, among others. As an illustration, Fitbit introduced its best-selling and award-winning Fitbit Versa, Fitbit Ionic, and Fitbit Ionic Adidas Edition smartwatches in Argentina. These noteworthy advancements are anticipated to accelerate wearables' progress in these areas. Additionally, according to Cisco Systems, unit sales of wearable technology in the Middle East and Africa are anticipated to reach 46 million by 2022. As a result, the market under study is anticipated to benefit from the region's increasing use of smartwatches. In the United Arab Emirates, among the key factors influencing the smartwatch market are fashion and practicality. Customers are becoming increasingly interested in slick designs, modern interfaces, and various strap styles and colors.