MEMS and sensors will be integral to the internet of things (IoT).
And today a report from analyst firm IHS said that the main beneficiaries of the boost in light sensors will be Samsung, Apple and Chinese original equipment manufacturing.
By 2016, revenues fro this sector will amount to $767 million, and Samsung is the main driver of the growth. Last year Samsung accounted for 43 percent of light sensor spending in smartphones.
Apple accounts for 19 percent of the market in 2014, mostly because it currently uses customised and high performance parts.
But Chinese OEMs spending in 2014 represented 23 percent of the market, mostly on low cost components as companies vied to produce inexpensive smartphones which actually have started competing with Samsung on the smartphone front.
As far as suppliers of the sensors go, AMS shipped 744 million units in 2014 and was the top vendor with design wins from both Apple and from Samsung.
Maxim shipped 132 million light sensors last year – most of them components in Samsung flagship products
But there are some contenders on the block, including Sitronix, Elan and Everlight, said IHS.
Comms company Belkin
is using the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week to demonstrate a range of products that promise to make peoples’ homes more secure.
According to Cnet, the company will introduce four new sensors this year, all based on the firm’s WeMo technology.
WeMo devices require a plug in hub that currently comes with lighting starter kits to communicate with your home wi-fi and let you access the products from anywhere you can get an internet connection.
WeMo is based on the Zigbee language, which is also used by Philips with its Hue systems.
says that the devices it will introduce include a wireless motion sensor with a 30 foot range which won’t respond to false alarms from your pussy cat or dog because it also includes a heat sensor.
Belkin will also introduce an alarm sensor that responds to smoke or burglar alarms and triggers push notifications so you know something’s up.
It will also include a keyring sensor that can attach to a pet collar so you know whether your dog is comng or going. The company will also launch a door and window sensor to let you know which apertures have been opened.
With a flood of gadgets aimed at people who like to be fit as well as machines used by medicos, shipment of the sensors used in the devices is set to increase sevenfold from 2013 to 2019.
The types of sensors used in these devices can be broken down into motion sensors, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and sensor for health, environment and user interfaces, according to IHS.
But out of these categories, motion sensors will be the dominant technology and under this umbrella are accelerometers, gyroscopes, proximity sensors and MEMS displays.
The top dog in the sensor market is ST Microelectronics – it sells sensors as bundles along with microprocessors and wirless chips.
IHS said that the worldwide market for sensors in wearables will reach 466 million units in 2019, up from 67 million in 2013.