Market and Technology Trends
Ultrasound Sensing 2023
By Yole Intelligence —
Still transitioning from bulk to semiconductor-based, the $7B market in 2028 still relies on consumer and automotive applications.
ABB, Anden, Apple, ASTI, BenQ, Baumer, Blatek, Bosch, Boston Scientific, Butterfly Network, Canon, Caresono, Carestream, Carewell, CEA Léti, Ceramtec,, TDK Chirp Microsystems, Chison, CK Electronic, Clarius Mobile Health, Continental, Cortex Technology, Denso, DTU, Dwyer, Egistec, Endress Hauser, Esaote, Exact Imaging, Exo Imaging, Fraunhofer, Fuji Ceramics corp., Fujifilm Dimatix, Fujitsu, Fukuda Denshi, GE Healthcare, GlobalFoundries, GlobalMed, GOODIX, Healcerion, Hitachi, Holitech, Hologic, Huawei, Hyundai, Idex, Imasonic, Infineon, Infraredx, Kaixin, Kejian, Keyence, Kistler, Kolo Medical, Konica Minolta, Kyocera, Meggitt, Micralyne, Microsoft, Mindray, Mistras, Mitsubishi Electric, MobiSante, Muramoto Group, Murata, Neato, Next Biometrics, NGK-NTK, NIT, Novosound, Oldelft Ultrasound, Olympus, Omron, Oxi Technology, Pentax Hoya, Pepperl Fuchs, PI, Philips, Philips Innovation Services, Prometheus, Qualcomm, Rohm Semiconductor, Samsung, Schneider Electric, Senix, Sentons, Sick, Siemens, Silead, Silex, Silicon Sensing, Silterra, Sintef, SIUI, Smartisan, Sonatest, Sonavation, Sonic Concepts, SonoScape, Sonosite, SonoStar, Sonotron NDT, SPTS, STMicroelectronics, Supersonic, Synaptics, TDK Epcos, TDK InvenSense, Tong Hsing Electronic Industries, Toposens, UltraSense Systems, Ulvac, Valeo, Validity, Vega, Verasonics, Vermon, Vision, VTT, Waymo, Whetron, Xiaomi, Zetec and more.
Ultrasound detector market could reach $8B by 2028
- The global ultrasound detector market is expected to grow from $5,495M in 2022 to $7,906M in 2028 at a 6% CAGR22-28 and is dominated by bulk piezo technologies.
- The consumer market will experience solid growth (26% CAGR22-28 in revenues), pulled by the demand for ultrasound fingerprint sensors in smartphones and tablets. Ultrasound sensors will continue penetrating the consumer market for user interface and presence detection applications. PMUTs have ultra-low power consumption and could be used for presence detection and sensor awake functions. Thus, they could be of interest for smart door locks and consumer robotic systems for energy saving.
- Automotive is the biggest segment in the ultrasound detectors market and is expected to have a 3% CAGR22-28. The growth is driven partly by the increased attachment rate of ultrasound sensors (which could go up to 12 in high-end cars) and by the increase in light and passenger car vehicle shipments.
- Industrial is the second biggest segment by value and will continue growing with a 6% CAGR22-28, driven by the trend toward industry 4.0 and the renewal and replacement of existing sensors. NDT and automation ultrasound segments are very conservative about new technologies.
- The Medical market is expected to grow by mid-single digits (~6% CAGR22-28), driven by the expanded use of ultrasound in diagnostics and handheld point-of-care ultrasound probes for remote healthcare. In the coming years, we also expect more disposable probes to be used in the medical market, particularly in the IVUS segment.
The PMUT and CMUT market is expected to reach $1,925M in 2028 at a 27% CAGR22-28. In 2022, MUT technologies represented around 8% of the total market but are expected to increase to about 26% by 2028.
- PMUT technology is well established in the consumer market and is expected to continue growing thanks to the penetration of Qualcomm PMUT PVDF fingerprint sensors in consumer devices. With the digitalization of everyday life, users will need safer authentication. PMUT fingerprint sensors offer the possibility to sense larger areas (increasing the sensing area to increase the number of fingers identified) and are scalable technologies. Furthermore, in the coming years, we expect to see more PMUT presence detector sensors in smart door locks and consumer robotics to reduce power consumption, in VR headsets to bring more degrees of freedom to the user, and in the automotive market for gesture recognition use cases.
- On the other hand, CMUT technology continues to attract strong interest in the medical segment, and the CMUT market will show a 26% CAGR22-28. Indeed, CMUT technology is semiconductor-based, scalable, and compatible with high volumes. Consequently, CMUT technology is expected to continue penetrating wearable patches and handheld point-of-care probes to allow every clinician, caregiver, and patient access to ultrasound worldwide. Furthermore, CMUT offers the possibility of having a miniaturized solution, which could generate substantial interest in IVUS catheter and cardiology ultrasound imaging. Nevertheless, first design wins are not expected before 2028.
MUT is slowly increasing market share
General Ultrasound ecosystem:
- The consumer market is dominated by Qualcomm ultrasound fingerprint sensors in smartphone and tablet systems. In addition, the consumer market is dynamic, new products have been released, like GigaDevice’s ultrasound fingerprint sensors, and significant design wins have occurred. In the coming years, Qualcomm is expected to maintain its leading position, followed by TDK InvenSense.
- In the automotive market:
- Ultrasound proximity detector manufacturers are well-established with long-term contracts. The Valeo Group, Bosch, and Denso Corporation are leading the market by supplying the OEM leaders of light vehicles and passenger cars.
- The trend toward sensorisation of the car’s interior, safety (children and other passenger detection), and gesture recognition is pushing players like UltraSense and TopoSense to position themselves in the market, and they might enter in the coming years.
- The medical market is dominated by GE Healthcare, Philips, Canon, and Fujifilm. These leaders have seen their business grow mainly due to the replacement of X-Ray technologies (ultrasound is safer), while the COVID-19 pandemic increased the demand for diagnostic ultrasound imaging. Furthermore, the increase in the ultrasound market is also driven by some acquisitions and investments, an increase in ASP (due the global inflation), and the development of point-of-care probes for remote healthcare.
- Currently, only Qualcomm and TDK InvenSense have products in the PMUT market. However, others may enter shortly, like EXO, GigaDevice, Ultrasense, and Audiowell.
- Butterfly Network dominates the CMUT market with its handheld point-of-care ultrasound systems. Butterfly Network is expected to continue growing and dominating the CMUT market in the coming years. Indeed, the company is targeting significant volumes (in the millions). The company initially aims to bring handheld ultrasound systems to every clinician in hospitals, then, as a second step, to every caregiver and patient outside healthcare centers. Vermon is also developing its CMUT probes: the developments are progressing. Verasonics and Fujifilm also have some CMUT-based products.
- CMUT could take off in high volumes (~millions) in the medical market, with products like handheld probes (especially for caregivers and patients outside healthcare centers) and disposable IVUS applications. Players with high production capacity, scalable wafer production, and above-IC (and ROIC) processes will be able to produce high volumes at an affordable product price.
MUT technologies are gaining maturity
The ultrasound sensing market is mainly dominated by bulk technologies. Despite the regulations related to lead, the alternatives still do not offer the expected performance, so bulk remains the technology of choice.
In the ultrasound sensing market, the primary focus is on developing CMUT and PMUT technologies. Both CMUT and PMUT are based on semiconductor technologies and offer miniaturization and high-volume production at a low price. However, for the moment, CMUT is more mature than PMUT in the medical market
The CMUT technology developments are mainly in the medical market (except for EXO, which develops PMUT point-of-care probes). CMUT demonstrates a higher bandwidth, is scalable, and is Pb (lead) free, making it an attractive solution for high-volume healthcare applications. Furthermore, CMUT technologies offer the possibility to reduce the size of the sensors and allow a more miniaturized solution, so they could take off in applications like IVUS, cardiac, and endoscopy. However, initial products might not be in the market before 2027-2028. In addition to the necessary technology development, medical certification from organizations like the FDA or CE (in Europe) is required and could slow down market entry.
PVDF-based PMUT sensors are more mature (well established in the consumer market) than AlN and Sc-AlN-based PMUT. However, AlN PMUTs contain no lead and need a low DC voltage. This makes them attractive for patch applications, where there is a strong focus on low power consumption and electrical safety and comfort.
Furthermore, there is a trend toward the development of bonding CMUT dies on ASIC wafers and monolithic PMUT processes (die above ROIC) in order to have one single process and low noise sensors compatible with high-volumes.
Objectives of the report
Methodologies & Definition
About the authors
What we got right, what we got wrong
Context & Introduction
- Global ultrasound
- PMUT & CMUT
- Summary & conclusion
Supply chain and ecosystem
- Global ultrasound ecosystem
- PMUT & CMUT ecosystem
- Main trends
Conclusion & outlook
Yole Group presentation
- 2020-2028 forecast of ultrasound detectors by market and by module (Munits, $M)
- Overview of the ultrasound detectors supply chain.
- Ultrasound detector market share by market and by technologies.
- Latest technology and market trends.
- 2020-2028 ultrasound detector forecast by market.
- Market share of consumer, automotive and medical ultrasound market.
- Market share of PMUT and CMUT based technologies.
This is Yole Intelligence’s updated report on ultrasound sensing technologies for medical, industrial, automotive, and consumer applications.
Provide forecast metrics for each ultrasound sensing module:
- Ultrasound market revenue and shipment forecasts at the system level for various industries (consumer, medical, industrial, automotive)
- Ultrasound modules revenue forecast, shipments forecast
- Technology penetration rates: CMUT and PMUT technologies vs. bulk piezo
Deliver an overview and an in-depth understanding of the ecosystem and players:
- The key players from the various areas: foundry, transducer, packaging, system level integrator, etc.
- The key suppliers, and the technologies they provide
Share key technical insights and analyses on expected technology trends and challenges:
- The industry’s state-of-the-art technologies
- Dynamics of key technologies
- Emerging technologies and roadmaps