RF MEMS market will reach $1.1 billion by 2009

MUNICH, Germany, 23 Nov. 2005. The market for radio frequency micro-electrical-mechanical systems (RF MEMS) components will grow from $126 million in 2004 to over $1.1 billion in 2009, according to a new study.

MUNICH, Germany, 23 Nov. 2005. The market for radio frequency micro-electrical-mechanical systems (RF MEMS) components will grow from $126 million in 2004 to over $1.1 billion in 2009, according to a new study.

This demand will be driven by mobile telephony, consumer IT, automated test equipment (ATE), and military applications, according to the study by Wicht Technologie Consulting (WTC).

The study covers applications, requirements, and markets for RF MEMS switches, tunable capacitors, BAW devices including film bulk acoustic resonators (FBAR) and solidly mounted resonators (SMR), in addition to micro-mechanical resonators, MEMS inductors, and cavity resonators.

More than 60 companies are currently involved in RF MEMS manufacturing, with one-quarter of those shipping commercial products or samples in 2005.

** Product forecast

The major part of the market in 2004 was for bulk acoustic wave (BAW) devices, which include duplexers and filters for mobile phones. This product will continue to dominate and constitute around 40 percent of the total market in 2009.

Another growing market sector will be MEMS switches and micro-mechanical resonators. As designers solve problems with reliability, packaging and CMOS integration, demand will grow in both the volume and high-end markets.

In general, development efforts will focus on architecture instead of components, as designers try to develop novel arrangements that fully leverage the potential of RF MEMS.

** Market forecast

The bulk of the RF MEMS market today services mobile telephony applications, with BAW duplexers and filters supplied largely by Agilent and Infineon.

In 2006-2007, a second mass market will emerge for consumer and IT applications with micro-mechanical resonators.

"There are great opportunities for spin-off applications in consumer and IT sectors following the initial focus on telecom applications," said the report's author, Jérémie Bouchaud. "Here, micro-mechanical resonators will be used not as filters, but rather as timing devices."

Outside of mass markets, the best opportunities are in Automated Test Equipment (ATE), followed by military applications.

Wicht Technologie Consulting (WTC) provides market intelligence, strategic consulting and business development support for the microsystems, microelectronics and nanotechnology industries. The company has gained an international reputation for its in-depth knowledge and ability to explain the technical, economic and competitive issues that influence supply and demand in these rapidly changing industries. For more information, see www.wtc-consult.de.

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