High-end inertial sensors market: Analog Devices is staying strong with its industrial MEMS IMUs

Extracted from:
Analog Devices High-End Accelerometers and Gyroscopes Comparison, System Plus Consulting, 2021


  • Analog devices MEMS IMU:
    Analog Devices has developed different accelerometers and gyroscopes. Six of them have been selected by System Plus Consulting to be compared and studied, the ADXL203, ADXL355B, ADXL362, ADXRS290, ADXRS295 and ADXRS195.
    To achieve a cost-effective industrial grade module, Analog Devices integrates multiple in-house discrete gyroscopes, accelerometers and IC, thus reusing components from its portfolio.
    Analog Devices has developed a very smart mechanical design which allow to measure in the 3 axes with two 2-axis for the gyroscopes and a 3-axis in one accelerometer.
  • Market forecasts:
    Yole Développement (Yole) sees the high-end inertial system market experiencing a 2.7% annual growth rate, reaching US$3.80 billion in 2025.
    The market for accelerometers, gyroscopes, IMU, INS is still fragmented, with many applications.
  • Technology trends:
    The inertial system market has passed through different technological stages.
    Some changes seem to appear on the market in almost 20-year technology cycles from first application to maturity.
    MEMS has made its debut in the high-end inertial systems market.

“For the development of robotics, smart agriculture, autonomous vehicles and navigation and stabilization applications, accurate motion capture sensors have played a central role.” asserts Audrey Lahrach, Technology & Cost Analyst, MEMS, Sensors & Display at System Plus Consulting. She adds: “The requirements in high precision, long mission life and high reliability are not provided by standard consumer solutions”.
System Plus Consulting disassembles a device or a system to identify its technology and determine its manufacturing processes, and then uses in-house models and tools to calculate its cost. Analog Devices’ IMU components are amongst those components analyzed by System Plus Consulting. Analog Devices Inc is one of the leaders in the inertial industry, with a 2020 revenue of US$5.6 billion.
In the global high-end inertial sensor market, Analog Devices has a 3% market share and leads the industrial applications, competing with Sensonor, Colibrys/Safran, Silicon Sensing Systems and other silicon MEMS companies.
Indeed, according to System Plus Consulting’s partner, Yole Développement (Yole), in the High-End Inertial Sensors for Defense, Aerospace and Industrial Applications 2020 report: it is important for the companies involved in the high-end inertial market to invest in the right technologies and partners, depending on the end applications targeted. The market is still dominated by Honeywell, Northrop Grumman and Safran, thanks to their large portfolios. All technologies have a long lifetime, due to the specifications of the market, and no abrupt shift from one technology to the others is expected, required that these players keep their technology up to date. This means no outrageous shifts in geographical leadership are expected.
The inertial system landscape has been traditionally pretty stable. Both in US and globally, Honeywell is still the leader with Northrop Grumman following. Other notable but smaller players include KVH, Kearfott and Emcore/ SDI. US companies rule over the high-end inertial systems market, with Europe and Asia as runner-ups.
For Dimitrios Damianos, Ph.D., Technology & Market Analyst, part of the Photonics & Sensing division at Yole:
“The European inertial market is dominated by Safran, which is by far the biggest player, with revenues that are an order of magnitude higher than other players such as Raytheon Anschutz, iXblue, Sensonor, etc”.

In this dynamic context, System Plus Consulting, part of Yole Group of Companies, investigates the various MEMS IMU technologies and related markets in depth. The reverse engineering and costing company points out the latest technical choices made by the leading IMU company Analog Devices.
Released today, the Analog Devices High-End Accelerometers and Gyroscopes Comparison report, from System Plus Consulting analyses the differences in manufacturing process and integration of these devices in different IMUs from ADI with different levels of precision. It also presents a detailed comparative physical analysis with process descriptions and a comparative manufacturing cost analysis between the three accelerometers and the three gyroscopes. A teardown, a bill of material, cost and selling price estimation of each IMU selected is also available.

Most of accelerometers and all gyroscopes contain one main MEMS device and the corresponding ASIC in the same package. All the MEMS devices are manufactured with surface micromachining techniques. The cap and the MEMS sensor are assembled with eutectic bonding or glass frit bonding. Accelerometers are assembled with ceramic packaging, or a LGA package and all gyroscopes are assembled in a LGA package.
According to Audrey Lahrach:
“The same accelerometers and gyroscopes are integrated in different IMUs. For different applications we can find combinations of the same accelerometer and gyroscope. Then every IMU is calibrated for different application grades like robotics, internet of moving things, autonomous machines, avionics, precision instrumentation, guidance and navigation”...

All year long, Yole Group of Companies, including System Plus Consulting and Yole Développement publishes numerous sensing and actuating reports. In addition, experts realize various key presentations and organize key conferences.
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IMU: Inertial Measurement Units
IC: Integrated Circuit
INS: Inertial Navigation System
ADI: Analog Devices
ASIC: Application Specific Integrated Circuit
LGA: Land Grid Array