Growth in automotive electronics is helping to drive the market for semiconductor sensors and actuator devices according to IC Insights' 2007 Optoelectronics, Sensors, and Discretes (O-S-D) Report. The firm says the market for such devices is growing at about twice the rate of IC sales and is forecasting 19% growth this year to $6.3 billion after climbing by nearly 18% to $5.3 billion in 2006. It expects the market to reach $12.7 billion by 2011, reflecting a 30% cumulative average growth rate between 2001 and 2011.
The market is expanding beyond automotive applications, according to the research firm. Automotive applications are expected to account for about 37% of sensor/actuator sales by 2011 compared with more than 60% a few years ago. About 80% of solid-state sensors and actuators employ micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) technology to perform transducer functions. Transducers in sensors measure change in conditions around devices while transducers in actuators manipulate physical action.