Description Defense applications still represent half of the market, while commercial aerospace and industrial applications are driving future growth. But MEMS will be a game-changer, leading to the emergence of many new applications requiring high performance, low-cost and small form factor.
Growth opportunities in commercial aerospace and industrial markets
High-performance gyroscopes and inertial measurement units (IMUs) form a large and dynamic market, traditionally dominated by defense and aerospace applications. But, over the last couple of years, this landscape has slowly changed. Defense and aerospace are still clearly driving the market, but game-changing MEMS innovations are bringing new momentum to the commercial aerospace and industrial sectors.
We expect more dynamic growth near term in this global market because of two factors:
First, while in the defense and aerospace sectors the US and European markets are best described as conservative and mature, many new programs are being launched in China, Russia, Brazil, and the Middle East. These will provide a high level of demand.
Second, low-cost emerging MEMS are fueling growth of the IMU market and opening doors for many new applications. The 2014 market for high-performance gyroscopes, which was estimated at $1.37B, is therefore expected to grow at a 4.4% annual rate to reach $1.69B in 2019.
The IMU market is very concentrated; a few big companies are dominant. Honeywell, Northrop Grumman Litef and Sagem are the clear leaders. Meanwhile, the MEMS accelerometer market is growing thanks to cost and size reduction and is still dominated by Honeywell, while other technologies are in decline. In-house accelerometer production is a trend followed by more players in this area, such as iXBlue and UTC Aerospace/AIS Goodrich, enabling better integration and performance. Furthermore, consolidation and cooperation in this industry is continuing. For example, recently, TowerJazz and Physical Logic announced production of high performance MEMS-based accelerometers for inertial navigation applications.
In addition, many newcomers are looking to enter the market with low-cost MEMS-based products and different approaches. New players like Innalabs or Tronics, could play a major role in the coming years. If further proof was needed; Thales bought 50% of the shares available in Tronics’ IPO few days ago, betting it will disrupt the market with new applications in the near future.
This report describes application evolution and market shares among the different types of devices and technologies in detail.
Game-changing MEMS is set to compete with mature technologies
Currently, optical gyroscope technologies still dominate the market by a wide margin. In particular, Ring Laser Gyroscopes (RLGs) are largely used in navigation systems and tactical guidance; one example is the Honeywell HG1700 IMU. Although RLGs are well-established in high-performance settings, Yole Développement expects two other technologies to make a large contribution to market growth from 2012-2019. Fiber Optic Gyroscopes (FOGs), which are currently very popular for stabilization applications, should rapidly progress to eventually replace other navigation technologies. But it’s MEMS technology that will have the largest impact on the industry.
While low-cost MEMS sensors enable new applications, a lot of progress has been achieved in the past few years on reliability. MEMS products 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. New, disruptive, gyro technologies are also emerging in the industry’s laboratories. By contrast, although dynamically tuned gyroscopes (DTGs) and other mechanical gyro technologies are still used in some retrofit systems for 2-axis stabilization systems or for gyrocompasses their use is declining.
Many factors are shaping tomorrow’s competitive landscape including technology capabilities, product maturity level, geography and the composition of the value chain. 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 deployment of MEMS technology. 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.
These technical evolutions are fully analyzed in the report, including expected milestones for each technology in terms of future development.
MEMS will supply many new applications and markets
Global brand names like Virgin Group, through OneWeb, Google, through SpaceX, and Facebook, through Ascenta, aspire to colonize the sky. Among their aims are to give internet access to the half of humans not yet connected, and transform space into a commercial industry. The price and specification of the products they need will be lower than defense, but higher than industrial. Several technologies are hoping to serve them, but those requirements, and the need for small size, will favor MEMS. With high and continuously improving performance, MEMS could be suitable for commercial space flight and microsatellite segments.
Mature technologies will also benefit from others market, as well as growing demand from emerging countries, especially China. However, the biggest opportunities seem to be for high-end MEMS, not only on the battlefield but also the sky – to infinity and beyond!
This report highlights the expected new applications and the competing technologies which are able to support these developments.
- An understanding of high-end gyroscope and accelerometer technologies, markets and player dynamics
- Market data in units and $M for 2014 - 2019
- An high-end applications overview (defense, commercial aerospace and industrial)
- An understanding of current and future trends
- Update of 2012 - 2019 gyroscope, IMU and accelerometer markets (in units, $US)
- New analysis on accelerometer markets
- Pricing trends have been updated
- Specific focus on new emerging applications