The MEMS microphone market is geared to reach 5% of the nearly 2 bln microphones sold worldwide in 2005 and grow to 15% of the nearly 3 bln microphones sold in 2008, a compounded growth rate of 240%. A similar growth rate in the speaker sector will propel the MEMs microspeaker market in 2008 with 500 mln units shipped, according to The Information Network.
Recent refinements in MEMS processing have resulted in the batch fabrication of low cost, high performance, miniaturized condenser microphones. In certain applications, this device offers specific advantages over traditional ECMs. MEMS products utilize robust processes from the semiconductor industry to make a wide variety of electronic devices smaller, more reliable and cheaper to manufacture.
Knowles Acoustics has emerged as the number one worldwide provider of MEMS acoustic components with nearly 100% of the market. In 2004 the company inked an agreement with MEMSCAP source of its MEMS silicon microphone wafers. Also in May, Knowles signed a definitive manufacturing and supply agreement for MEMS wafer services with Sony Semiconductor Kyushu Corp to provide fabrication services for Knowles Acoustics designed MEMS microphone wafers.