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Automotive Drives Magnetic Sensor Demand

Government-mandated vehicle safety systems are helping drive the magnetic sensor market.
Demand for magnetic sensors by the automotive industry is growing as more of the devices are used in safety systems, resulting in double-digit revenue growth for sensors, according to researcher IHS.

Revenue for magnetic sensors used in automotive systems will increase 11 percent in 2012 to $812.2 million, the researcher said. It will mark the third consecutive annual double-digit increase in automotive sensor revenue. However, revenue growth will drop to 9.5 percent in 2013 and further decline into the 6 to 7 percent range after that. By 2016, magnetic sensor revenue for automotive will total $1.1 billion.

Vehicle safety systems are driving magnetic sensor demand, according to Richard Dixon, principal analyst for MEMS and sensors at IHS.

“The mandates helped propel the sensors to rapid growth during the past several years, especially because they were being enforced in the highly developed automotive markets of the United States, Canada, the European Union, Australia, South Korea and Japan,” according to Dixon.

However, he said use of sensors in auto safety systems “will reach their saturation point by the 2014 - 2015 timeframe, which explains the slowing revenue growth for the years ahead.”

In the automotive industry, sensors are used in electronic stability control (ESC) systems engineered to help prevent vehicle skidding. They are also used in tire-pressure monitoring systems (TPMS), where magnetic switches save battery life.

A major source of demand for magnetic sensors will come from China. Sales of magnetic sensors in China will reflect the country’s preeminent position in the worldwide automotive economy as China sells some 27.4 million vehicles by then.