Growth in MEMS Market Point to Operators' IoT/M2M Future Opportunities

Growth in MEMS Market Point to Operators' IoT/M2M Future Opportunities Image Credit: IHS

IHS, a global information company, released a new report entitled “Internet of Things begins to impact High-Value MEMS”, discussing the impact of the phenomenal growth in the Internet-of-Things on the demand for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) devices for areas such as asset-tracking systems, smart grids and building automation. The IoT market is becoming a key interest area for today's service providers as many industry verticals are adopting M2M technologies to enable real-time communications and information transfer between machines and humans. Within the transport sector for example, telematics, fleet management and drivers' infotainment services have all started picking up on the back of improved delivery of data services, enhanced end-user applications and the integration of data to cloud-based platforms. At the same time, solution and technology vendors within the telecommunications market are becoming increasingly involved in aligning their products/solutions to support operators' service offerings in this area.

According to IHS, the worldwide market revenue for MEMS directly used in industrial IoT equipment will rise to $120 million in 2018, up from $16 million in 2013. MEMS used to support the deployment of the IoT, such as devices employed in data centers, will be growing from $43 million in 2013 to $214 million in 2018. The MEMS devices, said IHS, will expand to 7.3 billion units in 2025, up from 1.8 billion in 2013. The industrial IoT market is a diverse area, said IHS, comprising equipment such as nodes, controllers and infrastructure, and used in markets ranging from building automation to commercial transport, smart cards, industrial automation, lighting and health. Such gear employs a range of MEMS device types including accelerometers, pressure sensors, timing components and microphones, added IHS. 

The smart meters segment, one of the largest area to adopt M2M technology for power management, for example, will require MEMs for accelerometers and flow sensors. Sensors in particular form the bulk of IoT/M2M end nodes as most present day applications, including those used for smart homes, smart cities and M-Health all leverage on the ability of these sensors to collect data and transmit the information to data reservoirs via Wi-Fi and cellular. The shipment and deployment of MEMS indicate the segments within which M2M connectivity services will be most demanded, whether on Wi-Fi or via cellular and could point to verticals that may generate revenues for operators as operators' IoT/M2M business expands to more than USD25 billion by 2018. 

Jeremie Bouchaud, director and senior principal analyst for MEMS and sensors at IHS
The Internet of things is sometimes called the machine-to-machine (M2M) revolution, and one important class of machines—MEMS—will play an essential role in expansion of the boom of the industrial IoT segment in the coming years. MEMS sensors allow equipment to gather and digitize real-world data that then can be shared on the Internet. The IoT represents a major new growth opportunity for the MEMS market.

Executive Editor of The Fast Mode | 5G | IoT/M2M | Telecom Strategy | Mobile Data Innovations 

Tara Neal covers stories on strategies and initiatives in the Digital Telco space, and anchors the 5G and IoT/M2M verticals on the publication. Tara holds a First Class Honours in BSc Accounting and Finance from The London School of Economics, UK and is a CFA charterholder from the CFA Institute, United States. Tara has over 20 years experience in technology and business strategy.

Follow her on Twitter @taraneal11, LinkedIn @taraneal11, Facebook or email her at


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