Rapid growth in smart MEMS microphone market expected


The smart MEMS microphone market is expected to be worth $300 million in 2020.

According to industry analysts SAR Insight & Consulting, smart microphones products are expected to emerge in 2016 and see fast adoption across a number of end market including smartphones, wearable devices, smart home and automotive.

Key MEMS microphone vendors such as Knowles, AAC Technologies, Goertek and STMicroelectronics could potentially grab a share of a market worth almost $300 million in 2020.

The need for always on, always listening voice interfaces is one of the main uses that will drive rapid growth in the market for smart microphones. Total unit shipments are expected to grow at a CAGR of >230 per cent from 2016 to 2020.

“Smart microphones have emerged as an alternative to other integrated voice input and processing solutions where ultra-low power consumption is paramount,” Peter Cooney, Principal Analyst & Director of SAR Insight & Consulting, said. “The use of smart microphones will not wipe out other solutions but instead will be an alternative in some markets such as the smart home where these can offer the lowest cost solution for implementing voice interfaces into existing and new product categories.”

According to the latest report from SAR Insight & Consulting (Smart Microphones for Mobile & Beyond) the total MEMS microphone market continues to grow strongly as new use cases emerge and existing markets move towards the use of microphone arrays.

These arrays enable more enable advanced voice enhancements to improve the usability of voice interface solutions such as automatic speech recognition engines for digital assistants such as Alexa, Cortana, Google Now, and Siri.

Almost 6 billion MEMS microphones are expected to ship in 2020 for use in a wide range of equipment.

“There are many inhibiting factors to the growth of use of smart microphones, some of the most important ones include cost, size, other processing choices and supplier choice,” Peter said. “Smartphones vendors for example may choose to use standard MEMS microphones rather than smart microphones.”