The automotive MEMS market reached $2.6 billion in 2014, in the opinion of IHS analysts, and is predicted to grow with a compound annual growth rate of 3.4 percent over the period until 2021 in which year the market will be worth $3.4 billion. The source of this growth will be four main sensor types – pressure, flow, gyroscopes and accelerometers. However, night-vision bolometers from such companies as FLIR and Ulis and humidity sensors from such companies as Sensirion for window defogging will add to mix by 2021. Digital light processing (DLP) MEMS from Texas Instruments could also be found in cars in the future.
Mandatory requirements for electronic stability control (ESC) and tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) are driving increased sensor use in vehicles.
Top ten suppliers of automotive sensors ranked by 2014 sales. Source: IHS
Bosch with a strong historical position in high-g accelerometers for air bags as well as offerings in almost all other areas is the clear market leader with automotive MEMS sales of US$790 million in 2014.
Sensata was second with sales of $268 million. Sensata jumped to second place largely on strength in both safety and powertrain pressure sensors, but also through its acquisition of Schrader Electronics, which provides Sensata with a leading position among tire pressure-monitoring sensor suppliers.
Denso dropped in 2014 despite good sales mainly due to weakening of the Yen. Denso has leadership in MEMS-based air conditioning sensing and pressure sensors for continuous variable transmission systems, and is also a supplier of exhaust pressure sensors to a major European OEM.
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