Thursday, September 06, 2012

#MEMS: "High Performance Gyroscopes Top $1.6 Billion"

The micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) gyroscope market is dominated by the cheap consumer-grade devices used in smartphones, tablets and gaming controllers, but the high-performance market for defense, aerospace and industrial applications is growing to $1.6 billion according to Yole Development: R. Colin Johnson

Here is what Yole says about the high performance gyroscope market: Yole Développement announces the third update of their best- selling IMU markets report titled “Gyroscopes and IMUs for Defense, Aerospace & Industrial”(First release in 2008). This report combines Yole Développement’s knowledge in the high-performance inertial sensor industry along with a deep understanding of the targeted markets.

Yole Développement’s data has been validated by industry experts and augmented by the expertise of Mike Perlmutter, a recognized expert in navigation. By using a new format for the report, Yole Développement’s analysis synthetizes the status of the 2012 inertial sensor industry in a understandable and comprehensive way.

Under the report, “Gyroscopes and IMUs for Defense, Aerospace & Industrial”, Yole Développement proposes to discover :
 A broader scope
Stand-alone gyroscopes and assemblies of 2 or 3-axis gyroscopes are accounted for in the
market numbers.
 Detailed market data
The market is quantified for each gyroscope technology, and each company’s yearly shipments are estimated.
And market metrics are provided for each grade of gyroscopes: each application is positioned according to performance level and corresponding market size
 Deeper understanding of the market and its structure
Applications are described in a more synthetic way in order to provide rapid access to key information (functions, specification, technical solution, geography, trends, and market evolution) and graphical representation of the industrial chain

New entrants use game-changing MEMS IMUs to target emerging markets
Inertial Measurements Units (IMUs) is a large industry traditionally dominated by defense and aerospace applications. 2011 was a stable year for IMUs with a market size of $1.75B. Yole Développement expects more dynamic growth in this market in the near term because of two factors:
 New programs are being launched in Asia, Brazil, and the Middle East for the defense and aerospace sectors.
 Many new applications are fueling the growth of the IMU market, benefiting from significant technology evolutions, such as the continuous improvement of MEMS IMUs.

The IMU market is very concentrated; only a few big companies are dominant. Honeywell, Northrop Grumman and Sagem are the clear leaders, but many newcomers are emerging and are looking to enter the market with low-cost MEMS-based products with different approaches to how things are done.

Growth opportunities abound in the gyroscope market
High-performance inertial sensors and systems is a dynamic market segment, as an ever-increasing number of platforms require stabilization, guidance or navigation functions. The 2011 market for high-performance gyroscopes was estimated at $1.29B, growing at a 4.3% annual rate, and is expected to reach $1.66B in 2017, according to Yole Développement.

“However, this growth will not be global. Indeed, the most attractive opportunities will be concentrated in a select few applications, geographies or technologies”, details Laurent Robin, Activity Leader, Inertial MEMS Devices & Technologies at Yole Développement:
 Defense applications still account for half of the market and most players expect this to remain about the same, as budget cuts made in the U.S. and Europe will be partially compensated by strong demand in Asia.
 Commercial aerospace represents close to 25% of the market. After a period of stability, an increasing number of business jet, helicopter and civil aircraft orders will drive renewed inertial systems growth, starting in 2013.

 The remainder of the market (composed primarily of industrial, naval and offshore applications) will be the most dynamic area. While it will take time to adopt new technologies in the more conservative areas, new industrial applications are appearing with each passing day, benefiting from the increasing availability of low-cost inertial solutions.

Under this analysis, Yole Développement’s analysts describe in detail each application in terms of market size, competitive analysis, technical requirements, technology trends and business drivers.

MEMS and FOG drive the change in the technology mix
Currently, optical gyroscope technologies still dominate the market by a wide margin. In particular, 2

Ring Laser Gyroscopes (RLGs) are largely used in navigation systems and tactical guidance; one example is the Honeywell HG1700 IMU.
“Although RLGs will be robust for high-performance, Yole Développement expects two other technologies to make a large contribution to 2011-2017 growth: Fiber Optic Gyroscopes (FOGs), which are currently very popular for stabilization applications, and should rapidly progress to eventually replace other navigation technologies; and MEMS technology, which will have the largest impact on the industry”, explains Laurent Robin.

New applications are enabled by low-cost MEMS sensors, and when it comes to tactical grade applications, a lot of progress has been achieved in just the past few years in terms of reliability. MEMS are now accepted in high-reliability environments, and are even starting to replace FOGs and other technologies in tactical applications. Of course, other technologies must be considered as well: Hemispheric Resonant Gyroscopes (HRGs) are making progress and are now designed for navigation; Coriolis vibrating piezo gyroscopes are finding increasing success in a large variety of end-markets while new disruptive gyro technologies are still in lab-phase. Finally, DTG and other mechanical gyro technologies are still used in some retrofit systems for 2-axis stabilization systems or for gyrocompass, but this trend points to a decline.

Many factors are shaping tomorrow’s competitive landscape: technology capabilities, products’ maturity level, geography, value chain, and others. As such, competition trends are carefully analyzed in this report. Honeywell is still the global leader by far, with great success in RLG-based systems and successful deployments of MEMS technology. Northrop Grumman, Sagem and other market leaders are next on the list with a variety of technologies and new product lines that should have a big market impact. Newcomers will play a role as well, from startup companies developing disruptive sensors, to MEMS manufacturers, IMU integrators and large end-users willing to pursue internal inertial technologies.

Yole Développement’s report highlights market share analysis by application field and technology, as well as global company shipments and technology breakdown.

Further Reading