The global MEMS for mobile devices market was valued at USD 5.5 billion in 2021. It is anticipated to reach an expected value of USD 12.5 billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of 9.5% during the forecast period (2022-2030).
The advancement and evolution of technologies have profoundly impacted the designs of MEMS sensors. Technology advancements, consumer tastes, and other factors are significant in shaping changes in the electronics business for consumer electronics and smart gadgets. These trends are driving the demand for the downsizing of MEMS sensors.
Due to the sheer volume of devices delivered globally, and the rising demand for accelerometers and gyroscopes in smartphones, the MEMS for mobile devices market is anticipated to expand significantly during the forecast period. The market under investigation has been considerably characterized by the move toward MEMS devices with lower power consumption. The requirement for sensors in smart mobile devices is further driven by shifting consumer dynamics, such as shorter and faster charging periods and charging optimization, as these technologies are designed to consume less power and require less time to charge. Moreover, as smartphones are increasingly being used for image applications, optical image stabilization (OIS) and electronic image stabilization (EIS) are increasingly enabled by MEMS sensors. This broad set of features and innovative functions further augment MEMS sensor growth for smart mobile devices in the forecast period.
One of the key elements influencing the need for MEMS in mobile devices is the shrinking of gadgets. The makers are constantly looking for methods to advance their technology to gain advantages as end devices get smaller. Using MEMS-based accelerometers in sensitive commercial devices like smartphones helped reduce device size and costs. In December 2020, TDK launched MEMS Accelerometer for smaller geometry practices in the industry. Availability in a lightweight 1.4 g hermetic SMD J-lead ceramic package (12 x 12 x 5 mm) enables low-cost assembly and reliability on PCB, even in fast-changing temperature conditions. Furthermore, as the number of sensors increases on a mobile device, more miniature MEMS is required to fulfill design factors. Currently, mobile devices come with sensors, such as proximity sensors, accelerometers, gyroscopes, fingerprint sensors, ambient light sensors, compasses, hall effect sensors, barometers, and others.
Nano Electromechanical Systems (NEMS)-based accelerometers using graphene occupy orders of magnitude smaller die area than conventional silicon MEMS accelerometers while retaining competitive sensitivities. Such trends of miniaturization of devices drive the market for MEMS used in mobile devices.
With the growing usage of heavy smartphone applications, high-performance mobile devices must become imperative for any user. Various mobile devices are being produced with high-performance chips. Such high-performance mobile devices require MEMS-based sensors, such as accelerometers, gyroscopes, microphones, and others, to support the transition. Artificial intelligence and 5G technologies further push manufacturers to develop high-performance mobile devices. High-performance chip manufacturers and MEMS manufacturers support these device manufacturers in aligning and developing the resulting device.
Smartphones have evolved in terms of performance, with new chipsets supporting new applications. Furthermore, players can be noted to introduce 5G smartphones, which has a direct positive impact on the growth of the market studied. For instance, in April 2021, Samsung announced the launch of Galaxy M42 5G, its first mid-segment 5G device in India. Additionally, in March 2022, Apple announced the introduction of the new iPhone SE, which features 5G, alongside long battery life and the A15 Bionic chip. Other than the dominant players in the high-end smartphone market, which includes the likes of Samsung and Apple, emerging players can be noted to launch high-performance smartphones to compete with the existing players. For instance, Chinese smartphone brand Realme announced its plans to introduce its first high-end phones, GT 2 and GT 2 Pro, in Spain to tap the high-end European market. The introduction of high-performance devices is expected to drive the demand for sophistication in MEMS sensors.
MEMS devices range in complexity from simple systems with a single element to complicated systems with several elements under integrated microelectronic control. This poses a severe challenge when it comes to producing MEMS-based sensors. Due to the complexity of the design, MEMS-based sensors have a lengthy development cycle. The design cycle has been taking significant time with the current CAD tools as complexity has increased.
The challenge of the complex manufacturing process also hinders the vision of smartphones having smart sensor nodes everywhere. This is so because ramping up to the trillions of nodes that a smartphone could have would be impossible to produce without sophisticated MEMS manufacturing techniques development. Since MEMS-based sensors' performance is inversely related to size, most sensors' raw sensitivity decreases. However, the frequency response could improve.
The fundamental limit of most MEMS sensor systems remains thermal noise. The temperature and vibration of molecules cause all mechanical and electrical devices to tremble with an average kinetic energy of a few thousand of a billionth of a Joule. MEMS devices built on the microscale are susceptible to these small amounts of energy. This miniaturization of a complete microsystem represents one of the most significant challenges to the field of MEMS.
The upcoming 5G revolution is anticipated to make connectivity more accessible, thus, creating exponentially more data. Another ongoing trend is edge computing, which the market is creating, with the application of sensors and MEMS driving a new age of technology. The increased adoption of sensors in mobile devices is anticipated to drive innovation over the forecast period.
Furthermore, global conferences such as IEEE MEMS, MEMS & Sensors Technical Congress, and Mobile World Congres are anticipated to highlight the use of MEMS sensors in mobile devices, which is likely to create awareness among system integrators, thereby augmenting the market growth.
By type of sensor, the global MEMS for mobile devices market is segmented into the fingerprint sensor, accelerometer sensor, gyroscope, pressure sensor, BAW Sensor, microphones, and other types of sensors. The microphone segment accounted for the largest market share and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 8.4% during the forecast period. Advanced MEMS microphones can enhance the audio experience in smartphones. High adoption of highly featured smartphones led to more than one microphone per phone for audio processing, such as echo and noise cancelation, wind noise filtering, beam steering, 3D sound, and other exciting effects, expanding the market for MEMS microphones. One of the early adopters of MEMS microphones is Apple, Inc., for their iPhones. This company has been rigorously incorporating MEMS capacitive microphones into their iPhone products since the development of the iPhone 4. In addition to cell phones, electronics manufacturers integrate MEMS microphones and other sensors into handheld devices, smart watches, tablets, medical devices, wearable electronics, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The penetration of the internet also plays a significant role in the increasing adoption of smartphones and connected devices. The growth in internet penetration and smartphone also marks the entry of international mobile manufacturers. The demand for MEMS microphones will increase with the acceptance and reach of cell phones.
The gyroscope segment is the second largest. MEMS gyroscopes, or MEMS angular rate sensors, are used for turn sensing when there is no fixed point of reference. Gyroscopes in mobile devices allow somatic games, enable devices to switch the view in games, and navigate when GPS services are not available. The gyroscope is also used in VR and AR activities, 3D photography, and panoramic navigation, to name a few. Factors like increased dependence on location-based services and falling smartphone prices catalyze the increasing need for mobile location-based services. They can assist in the absence of satellite signals inside door spaces, highlighting their need for smartphones. Many smartphone vendors push to make their smartphones compatible with AR, which has a gyroscope as its prime component to run AR games. Google certified various devices for ARCore support. These cell phone companies include Asus, Google Pixel LG, Realme, Samsung, Xiaomi, and many others. Such trends in the market drive the need for gyroscope MEMS for AR and VR-based experience, which will prevail in the coming years.
By region, the global MEMS for mobile devices market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa
Asia-Pacific accounted for the largest market share and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 10% during the forecast period. A sizable need for cell phones from nations like India, China, Japan, and South Korea is motivating a lot of vendors to establish factories in the area. The availability of raw materials and the region's affordable labor and construction costs have also encouraged businesses to locate their production facilities. Along with the advantages of manufacturing, high demand and quick expansion are also pushing mobile phone manufacturers to locate their factories in Asia-Pacific. The Chinese population is swarming to purchase expensive new 5G cellphones, according to the most recent statistics provided by the Chinese government. China shipped more than 266 million 5G phones in 2021, up 63.5% from the previous year.
Additionally, Samsung unveiled its new Samsung ISOCELL GN2, a 50MP picture sensor, in January 2021. It has features including big 1.4-micrometer (m)-sized pixels, an improvement over its predecessor ISOCELL GN1's up to 100MP photographic capability, potent HDR, enhanced autofocusing thanks to Dual Pixel Pro technology, and vivid results regardless of the lighting conditions thanks to Smart ISO Pro. For greater mobility in filming videos, the GN2 offers full-HD videos at 480 frames per second or 4K at 120 frames per second. The continuous upgrades in its current offerings are expected to increase smartphone manufacturers' uptake of these innovative sensors.
North America is the second largest region. It is estimated to reach an expected value of USD 2 billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of 5.5%. The North American area, which is ready to adopt new-era technologies and advances in mobile devices, enjoys a leading position in the MEMS market for mobile devices due to the presence of significant manufacturers in the industry. MEMS sensors in smartphones to aid navigation-based apps are anticipated to increase in popularity as the ecosystem of connected devices continues to grow. One of the primary nations in the region promoting and assisting with the uptake of connected devices is the United States.
Furthermore, with 5G services being deployed in many parts of the region, the role of MEMs sensors is expected to gain even more importance. Moreover, the key MEMS sensor vendors in the region are also adopting product innovation strategies to cater to an advanced and broad portfolio of offerings across several industries. Furthermore, the growing innovation in MEMS microphones, owing to smartphones, has been augmented by the smart wearables companies, especially in terms of product size and power consumption, thus, creating growth opportunities for sound-based MEMS sensors.
Europe is the third largest region. The region has witnessed a significant demand for smartphones from various countries, such as Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. In 2020, Samsung held the maximum share, followed by Apple. Moreover, Europe's Eastern and Central regions have also witnessed increasing penetration rates in 2021. At a virtual event with the subject "Featuring You" in March 2021, OPPO announced the regional release of its new, all-5G Reno5 series, which includes the smartphones Reno5 Pro 5G, Reno5 5G, and Reno5 Z. With each capture, the device's higher video quality and improved portrait videography and photography are delivered via its sensors. The 50MP Sony IMX766 on the OPPO Reno5 Pro 5G also supports All-Pixel Omni Focus, in which every pixel is used for focusing the image, in addition to a 32MP front camera, 16MP Ultra wide-angle camera, 13MP telephoto camera, 2MP macro camera, and a color temperature sensor. The smartphone is expected to become even more integral to the IoT ecosystem in the region, where the smart ecosystems for cities are growing and are becoming a critical tool for the consumer electronics sector. As a result, smartphone manufacturers are increasingly embedding MEMS sensors that support these devices and applications by monitoring and regulating their usage.
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