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MEMS Semiconductors Strengthen After Holding Up Well in 2020

Daniel Nenni

Staff member
Sensors and actuators made with MEMS technology are forecast to grow by high double-digit percentages in the next several years after starting a recovery in 2H20, says new report.

Sales of semiconductor sensors and actuators made with microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology are expected to grow about 16% in 2021 to a record-high $15.9 billion after an 11% increase in 2020 during the economic havoc caused by the Covid-19 virus pandemic and the automotive industry’s worst year in decades, according to IC Insights’ 2021 O-S-D Report—A Market Analysis and Forecast for Optoelectronics, Sensors/Actuators, and Discretes. Recovery growth in MEMS-based sensor/actuator products surged in the second half of 2020 when manufacturers quickly began to refill inventories after seeing signs of stabilization and recovery in key end-use markets, says the 350-page O-S-D Report. Between 2020 and 2025, sales of MEMS-based sensors and actuators are expected to increase by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.8% to $24.1 billion with shipments rising by a CAGR of 13.4% to 32.1 billion units (Figure 1), based on the O-S-D Report’s five-year forecast.

MEMS Semiconductors Strengthen After Holding Up Well in 2020.png
Figure 1

Around half of the semiconductor sensors and nearly all actuators sold each year contain tiny MEMS transducer structures and circuit functions to perform their jobs in end-use applications. In 2020, about 83% of sales in the total $16.5 billion sensor/actuator market came from devices built with MEMS technology. About 55% of the total 30.9 billion sensors and actuators shipped worldwide in 2020 contained MEMS, based on data in the O-S-D Report. Approximately 44% of sales in MEMS-based sensors and actuators are generated annually by automotive applications.

Total sales of MEMS-based pressure sensors, microphone chips, accelerometers, gyroscope devices, and actuators are expected to increase annually by double-digit percentages until 2024, when the next cyclical economic slowdown is expected to cut growth to 4%, followed by a modest 9% rebound in 2025.

Report Details: The 2021 O-S-D Report
In a one-of-a-kind study, IC Insights continues to expand its coverage of the semiconductor industry with detailed analysis of trends and growth rates in the optoelectronics, sensors/actuators, and discretes market segments in its newly revised 350-page O-S-D Report—A Market Analysis and Forecast for the Optoelectronics, Sensors/Actuators, and Discretes.

Now in its 16th annual edition, the 2021 O-S-D Report contains a detailed forecast of sales, unit shipments, and selling prices for more than 40 individual product types and categories through 2025. Also included is a review of technology trends for each of the segments. The 2021 O-S-D Report, with more than 240 charts and figures, is attractively priced at $4,190 for an individual-user license ($995 for each additional user) and $7,290 for a multi-user corporate license. The Internet access password and the information accessible to download will be available through November 2021.

PDF Version of This Bulletin
A PDF version of this Research Bulletin can be downloaded from our website at

Arthur Hanson

Well-known member
MEMS are still in their early stages of development and will get more sophisticated, larger, and handle a larger number of functions on a single chip. I see MEMS benefiting Silicon On Fabric Integration in a very large way. I see entire micro labs and devices built this way, lowering the costs and dramatically increasing the functionality of labs and monitoring functions, bringing another entirely new revolution to the semi-industry, as I have written about in the past. MEMS has the potential to possibly double the size of the semi industry as more functions and uses of MEMS technology are applied to literally everything as standard semis have become.