bullet IMU & High Performance Inertial MEMS 2011-2015



IMU 2011 report

The report gives a complete review of the inertial sensor market to 2015

Publication date: 1 February 2011

Price: EUR 3,990

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High performance motion sensing is gaining interest in many industries. In the military & aerospace areas, the use of Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs) and other systems based on high-performance gyroscopes has been widespread for navigation, flight control or stabilization functions for decades. Today we see many industrial and healthcare applications emerging, driven by the possibility to integrate new functionality at low cost, mostly thanks to the recent developments in MEMS accelerometer and gyroscope technology.


The market for IMUs is estimated to be $1.55 B in 2009, dominated by defense and aerospace applications. Yole sees this market growing at a 9 % annual growth rate, to reach $2.60 B in 2015. Industrial, commercial naval and offshore applications will be the most dynamic with 16.5 % yearly growth, when the aerospace and defense markets will be limited to a 5.5 % and 6.8 % annual growth.


Several technologies are currently on the market, RLG and FOG-based systems being the most widespread and still benefiting from progresses in photonics. However the recent and rapid development of tactical-grade MEMS gyroscope technologies has the largest impact on the market landscape and on the competition. It is crucial for the companies involved in those markets to invest in the right technologies and partners, depending on the end-markets which are targeted. Different strategies are observed: some companies carefully invest in selected technologies like the market leader Honeywell, while others love all inertial technologies, like Northrop Grumman.


MEMS industrial and tactical-grade type of sensors is the most dynamic technology. Yole sees the market growing from $361.8 M in 2009 to $ 604.6 M in 2015 for single MEMS accelerometers and gyroscopes or assembly of MEMS accelerometers / gyroscopes. However many technical and commercial challenges are predicted for the players involved in MEMS: how to guarantee a high level of vacuum for keeping high performance over the years, how to bring down the costs when most of the applications are in the 100 or 1000 unit range per year, why is it so important to avoid export restrictions like ITAR, what are the best business partners to enter new markets which are sometimes captive …


The recent availability of tactical-grade MEMS IMUs is clearly attractive for a wide range of applications. Indeed many applications will find interest in low-cost devices while it also opens new market opportunities such as precision guided munitions or small size UAVs. This explains why nearly each major IMU manufacturer has a MEMS technology today, although the status of developments is not the same for all players.


This report is more than a simple update of the “IMU market 2007-2012” report. The involvement of Yole Developpement on the high-end inertial market has continued to grow in the last couple of years, with discussions with key companies involved in the field all over the world and participation in many conferences. Although this market remains very complex to monitor, with a wide range of technologies, applications and players, Yole has been able to make a few modifications since the last version to be closer to the reality when it comes to IMU prices, penetration, number of systems in each vehicle, and market shares. Moreover a complete analysis of the impact of MEMS technology and on the geographic description of the market (including the dynamic Asian and Israeli markets) has been included. Yole also had the chance to have Mike Perlmutter, who has more than 30 years of experience in the inertial navigation industry, provide an important contribution to this report.



The objectives of this report are the followings:

  • To provide market data on high performance Inertial Measurement Units and MEMS accelerometers / gyroscopes: key market metrics & dynamics

    • Unit shipments, revenues and average selling price

    • Market shares for each category of application

    • Industrial, tactical, inertial navigation and strategic grade sensors are taken into account


  • To provide application focus on key existing markets and most promising emerging ones

    • Architecture of the systems, functions that are used, new features and specification requirements

    • Insight about future technology trends & challenges

    • Pricing analysis and expected evolution


  • To provide a deep understanding of inertial sensor value chain, level of integration & players

    • Quasi-exhaustive list of sensor manufacturers worldwide with technology offer

    • List of key integrators worldwide

    • Analysis on the new players and potential new entrants with MEMS technology


Report Outline

  • Gyroscope technologies: DTG, RLG, FOG, HRG, Quartz, MEMS

  • Accelerometer technologies: Electromechanical pendulous type, Piezo, MEMS

  • Level of performance: Industrial, tactical, inertial navigation and strategic grade

  • Worldwide market metrics: 2009 – 2015 market ($M, M units, ASP)

  • 2009 market shares

  • 150+ companies cited in the report

  • Report is a 300+ slides PowerPoint presentation

  • Excel datasheet included

  • 20+ key applications for IMUs are described: Civil aircrafts, General aviation, Civil helicopters, Space satellites, Spacecrafts & skyrockets, Civil & paramilitary UAVs, Military fighters, Military transport aircrafts, Defense UAVs, Military & special mission helicopters, Missiles, Guided munitions, Combatant ships, Armored vehicles, Soldier equipment, Commercial ships, Underwater vehicles: AUVs, ROVs & submarines, Oil drilling, Trains, Healthcare & sport, Antenna stabilization & pointing, Mapping instruments…

  • 15+ applications described for MEMS accelerometers: Pacemakers, Blood pressure monitoring, Physical activity monitoring, Seismic sensors – Geophones, Inclinometers, Antenna stabilization, Vibration monitoring, Directional drilling & borehole survey, Mapping instruments, Model helicopters & high end toys, UAVs flight control, Aircraft backup instruments, Cockpit instrumentation/AHRS, Missile Guidance, Precision Guided Munitions, Bombs & Rockets, Armored vehicles, Military training systems…

  • 15+ applications described for MEMS gyroscopes: Human motion capture, Physical activity monitoring, Antenna Stabilization, Directional drilling & borehole survey, Camera stabilization, Model helicopters and high-end toys, UAVs flight control, Backup instruments, Cockpit instrumentation, Missile Guidance, Precision Guided Munitions, Bombs & Rockets, Platform stabilization, Military training systems, Agriculture ...


Who should buy

  • High-performance accelerometers and gyroscope suppliers

    • Understand the system level technology trends and requirements for each application

    • Evaluate market potential for your components depending on performance and technology

    • Understand the differentiated value of your products and technologies

    • Identify new business opportunities and partners

    • Monitor and benchmark your competitor’s advancements


  • IMU module and AHRS or INS suppliers

    • Evaluate the market potential of your product portfolio

    • Define diversification strategies on new applications

    • Find the best technologies to integrate and the best suppliers depending on your target markets

    • Identify new business opportunities and partners

    • Have an exhaustive analysis of the competition on a broad range of IMU field


  • MEMS material, equipment, or foundry / packaging service suppliers

    • Identify new business opportunities and prospects

    • Understand the level of activity of your customers

    • Understand what are the applications that will drive the volumes in 2015


  • Integrators of inertial solutions (INS, AHRS, sensors…)

    • Find the best technologies to integrate and the best suppliers depending on your target markets

    • Understand what will be the future applications to develop by taking benefit on the recent advances in inertial technologies


  • Financial & strategic investors

    • Understand the structure and value chain of the high-end inertial industry

    • Estimate the potential of new devices such as tactical-grade MEMS gyroscopes…

    • Get the list of main key players and emerging start-ups of this industry worldwide



Global market for high performance IMUs






Table of Contents


Executive summary


Introduction, definitions & methodology


1. Impact of MEMS accelerometer technology


        –  Status of developments worldwide

        –  Applications for high-performance MEMS accelerometers

        –  2009-2015 market for high-performance MEMS  accelerometers

        –  2009 market shares for  high-performance MEMS accelerometers


2. Impact of MEMS gyroscope technology


        –  Status of developments worldwide

        –  Applications for high-performance MEMS gyroscopes

        –  2009-2015 market for high-performance MEMS  gyroscopes

        –  2009 market shares for  high-performance MEMS gyroscopes

        –  MEMS technology: challenges for the next years and limitations


3. 2009-2015 IMU market overview


        –  Global 2009-2015 IMU market in value

        –  Global 2009-2015 IMU market in volume

        –  Technology market shares


4. Commercial aerospace IMU market


        –  Civil aircrafts

        –  General aviation

        –  Civil & paramilitary UAVs

        –  Civil helicopters

        –  Space satellites

        –  Spacecrafts & skyrockets


5. Defense IMU market


        –  Military fighters

        –  Military transport aircrafts

        –  Defense UAVs

        –  Military helicopters

        –  Missiles

        –  Guided munitions

        –  Combatant ships

        –  Armored vehicles

        –  Others


6. IMU market for industrial, commercial naval and offshore markets


        –  Commercial ships

        –  AUVs & ROVs

        –  Oil drilling

        –  Trains

        –  Mapping instruments

        –  Stabilization systems

        –  Life science

        –  Others


7. IMU competitive landscape


       –  IMU sales of the key players

       –  2009 IMU market shares

       –  Motivation for ITAR-free products


8. Geographic description of the IMU market


–  Activity in North America

•  Applications trends

•  Key integrators

•  Value chain & competition


–  Activity in Europe

•  Applications trends

•  Key integrators

•  Value chain & competition


–  Activity in Israel

•  Applications trends

•  Key integrators

•  Value chain & competition


–  Activity in Asia & other emerging markets

•  Applications trends

•  Key integrators

•  Value chain & competition


9. Technology review


        –  Accelerometer technologies

        –  Gyroscope technologies




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