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YG PRESS NEWS – Evolution and trends in ultrasound sensing technologies: from bulk to semiconductor-based solutions

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While currently transitioning from bulk to semiconductor-based technologies, the $7 billion market projected for 2028 continues to depend on consumer and automotive applications.

  • The global ultrasound detector market is expected to grow from US$5,523 million in 2022 to US$7,839 million in 2028, at a 6% CAGR between 2022 and 2028.
  • The PMUT and CMUT market is estimated to grow from US$450 million in 2022 to US$1,858 million in 2028, at a 27% CAGR between 2022 and 2028.
  • MUT technologies are gaining maturity.
  • Qualcomm is expected to keep its leading position of the consumer market in the coming years, followed by TKD InvenSense.

According to Yole Intelligence, part of Yole group, in the Ultrasound Sensing 2023 report, the bulk technologies currently hold a significant share in the ultrasound sensing market. Despite regulations concerning lead, alternatives have been explored, but they have not yet reached the desired level of performance. Consequently, bulk technology remains the preferred choice. In the ultrasound sensing market, there is a prominent emphasis on the advancement of CMUT and PMUT technologies. Both CMUT and PMUT are based on semiconductor technologies and offer miniaturization and high-volume production at a low-cost price. However, currently, CMUT demonstrates greater maturity in the medical market compared to PMUT.
The primary focus of CMUT technology development lies within the medical market, excluding EXO, which specializes in PMUT point-of-care probes. CMUT offers notable advantages such as higher bandwidth, scalability, and being free from lead (Pb), making it an appealing solution for healthcare applications requiring high-volume production. Moreover, CMUT technologies enables the possibility to bring down the size of the sensors, allowing a more miniaturized solution that could take off in applications like IVUS, cardiac, and endoscopy. However, the initial product release might not occur until 2027-2028. Apart from the necessary technological advancements, obtaining medical certifications from regulatory bodies such as the FDA or CE (in Europe) is also crucial but may slow down market entry.
In comparison to AlN and Sc-AlN-based PMUTs, PVDF-based PMUT sensors have achieved a higher level of maturity and are well-established in the consumer market. However, AlN PMUTs, which are lead-free and operate at low DC voltage, have distinct advantages. This makes them particularly appealing for patch applications that prioritize low power consumption, electrical safety, and user comfort.
Furthermore, there is an ongoing trend towards the development of bonding CMUT dies on ASIC wafers, monolithic PMUT process (die above ROIC). The aim is to have one single process, low noise sensors, and compatibility with high-volume.
Lastly, ultrasound technologies are interesting in large areas, flexible and air-coupled applications, in under display for haptics in VR use-cases…
For more information about this analysis, please contact us!

Titre du visuel

june 2021

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