MEMS on the way to $Trillion/Trillion Units
May 23, 2012 - The MEMS Tech Symposium had its theme presentation on the MEMS market reaching the $Trillion mark in the future, from Janusz Bryzek of Fairchild Semi. The presentation focused on the MEMS commercialization cycle and the extension of the current 15% CAGR from the $1.5B base of 2012 to ~$1 trillion by 2046. The challenge presented was opportunities to accelerate this growth to taking place in the nearer term of the 202x time frame.
The presentation included some of the emerging markets that could produce the required unit count to hit these markets. Some of these include the CeNSE (Central Nervous System for the Earth) program. This is a program that in and of itself, would consume 1 Trillion+ nanosensors to measuring statistics of the earth. Current markets that are being tested at these sensor desnities are oil exploration and production, Tsunami and earthquake warning, and climate tracking. As these programs increase in density and spread to new locations, the sensor count will go up dramatically. These sensors will also be incorporated to asset and supply chain tracking for domestic and international trade. The challenge with this system, not only is it the price point of the sensors which needs to drop to about $0.20/each, but the size and bandwidth of the internet needs to increase about 1000x over its size in 2013.
Other systems include Smart Business which is based on adding sensors to cell phones, smart grid infrastructure, gaming, automotive system, IT and industrial systems. These are going to employ sensors to provide 24/7 monitoring of the status and health of these infrastructure pieces.
A large area is mobile health. Currently health care is 18% of the US GDP (as reported in 2009) and growing. The market for wearable wireless devices is expected to grow from 12M devices in 2010 to 420M devices in 2014. If these sensors are integrated into mobile phone, that to achieve the $Trillion market, it would only require an average cost of $143 per user for each of the anticipated 7B mobile users.
The presentation did however bring about a reality check on new sensor development. Based on nearly a dozen sensors categories that have entered the marketplace, the average time from discovery to full commercialization is about 28yrs. The discussion included possible acceleration of this time table based on standardized processes, which are currently being looked at by US, Asia-Pacific and European fabs.
The fallout from the $Trillion sensor market is the job creation associated with it. Based on an avg revenue of $500K/yr per employee, 2M new direct jobs, about 4M indirect jobs for a total of about 6M total new jobs on a sustaining basis. The sensor based direction for systems and IT bring a very large number of benefits to the entire economic ecosystem.