Successful Sensor Companies Address Diverse Established and Future Markets

Sensors are vital components in a vast array of automotive, industrial, medical, commercial, as well as consumer products. Since there are always opportunities to incorporate sensors into products or systems where sensors have not thus far been used, and opportunities continuously beckon for developing sensors enabling new applications, a sensor company can be tempted to pursue new, largely untapped markets/applications rather than focus on its existing, core business.

We caution sensor companies, or sensor developers, to not so single-mindedly pursue new sensor applications that one's established, core sensor markets are neglected or not given sufficient attention. A company should target providing enhanced sensor products that benefit and extend opportunities in key significant sensor markets. Ideally, a sensor company should strive to balance its market focus, concentrating on increasing sales of its existing products to established customers, while simultaneously focusing on developing new sensor products that address demands of customers in existing markets (i.e., for smaller, cheaper sensors with higher functionality and lower power consumption). Such smaller, faster, more integrated yet cheaper sensors can replace conventional sensors in existing markets/applications.

Moreover, a sensor company can help safeguard against fluctuations in its main markets and optimize its growth potential by also developing sensors designed to open up new applications (for example, very small, low-power sensors with integrated electronics that enhance battery-powered portable products, or sensors with enhanced electronic signal processing and communication capabilities that allow for improved protection of key customer assets). In addition, a sensor company that offers a wide range of diverse sensor products and technologies aimed at a range of markets is especially well-positioned to capture increasing market share in the overall sensor industry and to grow and prosper despite periodic changes in a particular market.

Honeywell Sensing and Control (Freeport, IL, 800-784-3011), a unit of Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions, is a major force in the sensor industry and provides an extremely broad range of sensor products and technologies for a variety of key established markets/applications (e.g., on-board automotive, aerospace/aviation, off-highway transportation, HVAC, information technology, medical, industrial, motion control, white goods, etc.). While the fragmented sensor industry contains many companies that serve specific market niches with a limited set of sensor technologies, Sensing and Control has the breadth of sensor technologies, resources, and critical mass that are conducive to achieving ongoing growth and greater market penetration.

Honeywell Sensing and Control illustrates the value of focusing on providing a wide variety of sensor products and technologies for established markets, while also developing sensing technologies that can enable new and enhanced applications in established as well as emerging markets (for example, self-calibrating, maintenance-free, wireless sensors for proactive monitoring and correction of potentially hazardous leaks or upsets from such sources as pipelines, refineries, chemical plants, or water/waste water treatment plants).

Ron Sansom, president of Honeywell Sensing and Control, explained to SBD that, in contrast to many sensor companies which focus on a single technology, Honeywell offers one of the broadest range of sensor technologies available.

Honeywell Sensing and Control's sensor products include: automotive sensors (including speed and position sensors for engine management, wheel speed sensors, and position sensors for comfort, convenience, and motor control applications); microbridge mass airflow sensors that respond to the flow of air or other gas over the sensor chip); current sensors for monitoring AC or DC current; force sensors/load cells (including silicon-based force sensors/load cells, bonded foil strain gauge force sensors/load cells, and germanium strain gauge load cells); capacitive relative humidity sensors and RH/temperature sensors; infrared sensors (e.g., optoelectronic infrared emitting diodes (IREDs), sensors and assemblies for object presence, limit, and motion sensing, position encoding, and movement counting); liquid level sensors for harsh industrial environments that use an LED and a phototransistor and provide a digital output that indicates the presence or absence of liquid; and pressure sensors (e.g., stainless steel and silicon pressure sensors, high purity pressure sensors).

Additional sensor products offered by Honeywell include: rail sensors/products (e.g. rail-wheel proximity sensors, interface modules, train departure control systems, solid state sensors, pressure sensors and electromechanical switches for on-board and off-board rail industry applications); temperature sensors (platinum- and silicon-based thin film resistance temperature devices (RTDs), thermocouples); turbidity sensors for improving product quality, minimizing ingredient consumption, and reducing wastewater discharge in commercial and industrial washing applications; ultrasonic position sensors for presence/absence sensing, precision distance sensing or tracking in areas where other sensing technologies can have difficulty, such as clear or shiny objects, foggy or particle laden air, or splashing liquids); position sensors, including Hall-effect, magnetoresistive, and potentiometric devices for detecting the presence of a magnetic field or linear and rotary position; accelerometers (that use quartz flexure or resonating beam technologies for inertial, control, and industrial applications); position sensors suitable for harsh environments (e.g., aircraft, ordnance, marine, mass transit), and for applications with demanding requirements with respect to temperature, vibration, shock, or EMI/lightning resistance, that use eddy current, Hall effect or variable inductance balanced bride sensing technologies; fiber-optic sensors (LEDs/transmitters, fiber-DIPs, receivers and modules for the short-haul datacom segment.

Honeywell Sensing and Control, moreover, offers a distributed sensor bus system, open at both the control and device levels, for intelligent sensors and actuators. Their advanced vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) are used in high speed data communications and can address diverse sensor applications.

Sensors is one of Honeywell's core businesses. In 1950, Honeywell acquired the Micro Switch Corporation, which introduced what was purportedly the first solid-state Hall effect switch in 1965 and developed what is described as the first solid-state vane switch for automotive ignition systems in 1976. Sensing and Control (via Micro Switch) helped spearhead the effective use of permalloy thin-film technology in magnetic, temperature, and air flow sensors in 1984. Air flow sensing incorporating a minute bridge etched into the sensing chip was introduced in 1987. The silicon bridge in their mass air flow sensor is thinner than a human hair, enabling the sensor to be sufficiently sensitive to detect the breadth of a person at rest.

Major industries/applications for Honeywell's sensors include automotive on-board (passenger cars and light duty vehicles), aerospace, medical (e.g., respiratory (including oxygen concentrators), sleep apnea, dialysis, drug delivery applications), HVAC, Infotech (e.g., Hall effect or infrared sensors used in read/write head positioning in data storage devices), appliances, and industrial (including motion control and test and measurement applications). The approximate segmentation of Honeywell Sensing and Control's overall business by major application area is: automotive-23%; ATSM (aerospace, transportation, ordnance, and marine)-22%; industrial-19%; and commercial-36%.

One of out of four vehicles built in America contains at least one Sensing and Control switch or sensor, Honeywell notes. Sensing and Control switches and sensors are purportedly used by nearly all the major appliance manufacturers (e.g., manufacturers of dishwashers, washing machines, or refrigerators); and Sensing and Control sensors help evaluate dishwasher cleanliness.

Richard Gibbs, line of business leader, commercial, noted that key sensor products in the commercial arena for Honeywell Sensing and Control include pressure, speed and position sensors, thermal sensors, and air flow sensors. Key Sensing and Control sensor products used in consumer appliances/white goods include infrared sensors, turbidity sensors, and NTC thermistors (which are also used in office automation (e.g., color copiers)). Moreover, Sensing and Controls' bi-metal thermostats and thermal cut-off switches are used in small appliances, such as coffee makers where they provide a safety fuse function to prevent equipment overheating.

Sensing and Control's turbidity sensor, which is submerged in the wash solution, uses an infrared emitting diode (IRED) coupled to a silicon photodiode receiver. The receiver produces a photocurrent inversely proportional to the turbidity level of the wash media. By processing the photocurrent, the sensor distinguishes between clean and dirty liquid media.

Turbidity sensing indicates the relative amount of suspended solids (particulate matter) in water or suspended liquids. Conductivity sensing provides a relative measurement of the ionic concentration of a given liquid. In industrial or commercial bath applications, integrated turbidity and conductivity sensing can improve product quality, manage ingredient consumption, and reduce waste water discharge. Sensing and Control's turbidity sensor/actuator technology, which well-suited for timer-based appliances, is designed to increase efficiency and reduce water and energy consumption. Clean water is carried over the next cycle for continued use (conserving water and energy), while dirty water is drained off as in a normal cycle.

Sensing and Control has noted that a single-point turbidity sensor enables low-cost electromechanical dishwashers to achieve enhanced performance, formerly confined to electronically-controlled machines. In addition to providing water savings and enhanced washability, the single-point turbidity sensor allows the dishwasher to adapt to different loads and eliminates the burden of accurately selecting the proper cycle for the load being washed.

Key applications for Sensing and Control's pressure sensors include medical, automotive, HVAC, information technology, white goods, and industrial (including test and measurement).

In July, Sensing and Control introduced the 26PC SMT (surface mount technology) silicon piezoresistive pressure sensors with a ratiometric output and temperature compensation circuitry; and the differential output ASDX series of amplified sensors that combine MEMS, ASIC, and contemporary packaging technology for applications involving pressure ranges from 1 to 100 PSID.

Described as the first true surface mount pressure sensor, the 26PC SMT has a small package size, withstands reflow temperatures, can be picked and placed with other circuit components, is designed for use on printed circuit board assemblies, and supports gage, vacuum gage, differential and wet/wet sensing applications. Although primarily designed for the medical industry, the 26PC SMT pressure sensor can be applied in any industry requiring a surface mount pressure sensor. The sensor's compact package size of 10.92mm (0.43 in.) x 6.10 mm (0.24 in.) x 7.80 mm (0.31 in.) saves critical board space and is designed to reduce installation cost, while offering design flexibility and ease of manufacture.

The amplified, differential output version of the ASDX series, which has a +/- 2 vdc output centered around a 2.5 vdc offset, is designed to provide a highly reliable, accurate, low-cost solution with built-in signal conditioning in a compact size for system-critical sensing and control applications. The differential output sensors, which embody the next evolutionary stage of the ASIC-amplified family of ASDX pressure sensors, are fully calibrated and temperature compensated using an on-board ASIC. The differential pressure sensors are intended for use with non-corrosive, non-ionic working fluids, such as air and dry gases. Typical applications include medical equipment (respirators, oximeters, sleep apnea), flow calibrators, and instrumentation.

The ADSX sensors are accurate to within +/-2.0%, and have a temperature compensated range of -10° C to +85° C. The +/-2.0% accuracy includes the combined errors from offset and span calibration, linearity, pressure hysteresis and all temperature effects. The devices are characterized for operation from a single 5-volt supply. ASDX pressure sensors are well-suited for such applications as medical respiratory and ventilator controls, ventilation and air flow monitors, and gas flow instrumentation.

Sansom noted that key promising growth markets for Sensing and Control include automotive on-board and medical applications. He added that Sensing and Control has a keen interest in expanding its opportunities in automobile security applications that leverage, for example, optoelectronic keyless sensors for passive entry. He indicated that the European automotive security market is especially promising. Optical measurement techniques and wireless communication technology can be leveraged to address automotive security applications.

Since 2001, Sensing and Control has been producing a keyless access sensor based on a dedicated photoelectric device. In the passive entry mode, the sensor provides a signal anticipating any pull on the door handle, alerting a global passive entry system (CPU, antenna, RF identification card, electrical latch) to allow the required response for keyless entry access. The central locking signal locks the vehicle's door latches to ensure safety.

Sansom pointed out that the number of sensors used in the vehicle for safety, security, comfort, and performance enhancement will increase. Honeywell has noted that some 30% of the cost of a car is attributed to electronics or electronics installation. Legislation is being issued in several countries that requires engines to operate more efficiently, use less fuel, and emit lesser quantities of undesirable chemicals. Drivers are attracted to features that enhance the comfort and the car's convenience and convenience; and automakers use such features to distinguish their vehicles in the marketplace.

Sensing and Control provides a wide range of sensors for automotive engine management, transmission control (including speed sensors), security, chassis control (e.g., wheel speed sensors), and in-cabin control (including Hall effect sensors for such applications as steering, hand-brake position, seat position, remote mirror-with-memory applications, window or sunroof control; and pressure sensors and combination pressure/temperature sensors for HVAC applications).

Tim Erickson, engineering leader at Honeywell Sensing and Control, explained that a major product area for Honeywell in the automotive on-board arena consists of magnetic sensors (e.g., silicon Hall effect sensors or anisotropic magnetoresistive (AMR) sensors) used in camshaft and crankshaft sensing for powertrain/engine management. He also noted that OEMS desire very accurate magnetic position sensors that help reduce emissions and improve fuel economy by providing more precise camshaft and crankshaft sensing for ignition timing.

Information from the crankshaft sensor or camshaft sensor can be used to detect angular velocity to calculate ignition timing and also detect engine misfire at any time during operation. The ability of the solid-state Hall sensor or AMR sensor to sense the position of the crankshaft before the starter motor has made the crankshaft rotate at a certain speed eliminates any delay at start-up and facilitates emissions reduction and fuel economy. A highly accurate magnetic field sensor is required to detect misfire at any time by detecting very small variations in the crankshaft's angular velocity.

The silicon Hall effect sensor, which makes use of the phenomenon of the Lorentz force in semiconductor materials and provides a differential voltage proportional to the magnetic field perpendicular to the semiconductor material to which a voltage is applied, offers such advantages as low cost, zero-speed signal capability, and ease of incorporating on-chip electronics.

The AMR sensor is composed of permalloy (nickel-iron) thin film deposited on a silicon substrate and is patterned to form a Wheatstone resistor bridge. The change in the magnetoresistive characteristic of the Permalloy in the presence of a magnetic field is related to the angle of the current flow and the orientation of the magnetization vector. Barber pole biasing is used to cause the current to flow at a 45 degree angle in the film. AMR sensors are well suited for detecting low magnetic fields (within the earth's field) and can operate over a wider air gap (distance from the sensor to the target) than Hall effect sensors. However, AMR sensor tend to more somewhat more expensive than Hall sensors, can be susceptible to disturbing magnetic fields, and have been vulnerable to electromagnetic or radio frequency interference.

The VR (variable reluctance) sensor essentially uses a magnet and coil and was the initial magnetic sensing technology used in high volume in vehicle wheel speed sensing. The VR sensor does not inherently provide a zero-speed signal or good signal at low speed.

In addition to its line of Hall sensors and AMR sensors, Honeywell Sensing and Control also offers VR (variable reluctance) speed sensors. Erickson noted that VR sensors are used, for example, in crankshaft sensing on 4-cylinder engines and in wheel speed sensing in anti-lock brake systems. Moreover, Sensing and Control is moving into giant magnetoresistive (GMR) sensors, which Erickson indicated can provide, for example, highly accurate crankshaft sensors. GMR sensors, which consist of thin-film ferromagnetic/non-magnetic metallic layers, provide a very large change in resistance in the presence of a magnetic field and are able to operate over a larger air gap. However, GMR sensors have not thus far been manufactured in high volumes for sensor applications.

Besides camshaft/crankshaft sensing, key automotive applications for Sensing and Control's sensors include HVAC pressure sensors, EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) differential pressure sensors, and fuel injection system pressure sensors. Suitable applications for Sensing and Control's pressure sensors include diesel direct injection, gasoline direct injection, MAP (manifold absolute pressure). T(temperature)/MAP, and EGR. Honeywell speed and position sensors are finding opportunities in advanced transmission systems; and Erickson noted that there are opportunities for sensors in automobile turbochargers.

An example of Honeywell Sensing and Control's focus on leveraging its sensor and packaging expertise to capture additional market share in key, challenging areas, such as under-the-hood automotive applications, is its "High-Step" approach to product design, geared toward providing an engineering sensing solution for very difficult applications that integrates advances in sensor technology with Honeywell's traditional strength in application-specific packaging. Honeywell Sensing and Control's automotive on-board business has been especially swift in expanding its High- Step product line. The High-STEP solutions address applications that require sensors to endure very robust packaging (have a high degree of sealing), as well as withstand high temperatures, high EMI (electromagnetic interference), and high perferformance.

Sansom, Sensing and Control's president, noted that the medical arena is a key growth market for Sensing and Control, as home-based medical equipment, which requires smaller, more efficient, and low-power sensors, find expanding market opportunities. Gibbs underscored the expanding opportunities for more compact and accurate sensors (for measuring such parameters as flow, pressure, force, or temperature) in medical diagnostic equipment, as the population skews older, generating a greater need for more ubiquitous monitoring and diagnostics.

Moreover, the need for more efficient, real-time, and comprehensive medical care is spearheading opportunities for innovative medical sensing and diagnostic solutions, such as microfluidic products/systems. Under DARPA funding, Honeywell has developed a portfolio of microfluidic devices that measure, control or actuate, and deliver nanoliter and sub-nanoliter levels of fluids. The mesopump/micropump technology includes low-power, electrostatic actuators produced on plastic substrates. The pumps have promise in the life sciences industries for such applications as high-throughput drug discovery equipment, drug delivery applications, and cytometry.

The mesopump technology is capable of sensing the flow of liquid and contaminate or condensate-filled air. Devices built include a flow sensor for aqueous liquids, low-power mesopumps for gas and liquid pumping, low-power mesovalves for pilot valve applications, and a low-power silicon microvalve for flow and pressure control. The microfluidic control system, combining VCSEL technology with microfluidics control, has potential as a miniature instrument for white blood cell and differentiation.

Sansom observed that there key prevailing trends in the sensor market toward reducing the cost and size of sensors and integrating greater functionality (including logic and signal processing capability) into a smaller platform. Sensing and Control has facilities on the West Coast that are working on MEMS design and fabrication. Peter Dierauer, emerging technology leader, noted that Sensing and Control is working on MEMS pressure sensors and air flow sensors, and most recently has been working on MEMS liquid flow sensors.

Honeywell Sensing and Control envisions sensors increasingly pervading an ever-wider array of applications, including home comfort, health care, and industrial process monitoring. The proliferation of sensors into diverse aspects of life will be driven by lower-power sensors configured in vast wireless networks.

In the future, Sensing and Control foresees highly integrated smart sensors will allow for detecting key trends (such as an imminent pipeline failure), help diagnose the cause of the problem, and predict and prevent potentially catastrophic failure in, for example, plant assets. Embedded sensor algorithms will enable the sensor to have self-calibration and self-correction capabilities, facilitating ease of installation and utterly maintenance-free operation. Self-correcting, maintenance-free wireless networks will automatically accommodate new sensors and optically route data. Key advances in power sources would eventually enable vast sensor networks capable of very long-term continuous operation for use in, for example, monitoring large industrial, agricultural, or municipal operations to ensure environmental safety.

In addition to optimizing its organic growth, Honeywell Sensing and Control has deepened and expanded its sensor business through key strategic acquisitions. For example, around the fourth quarter of 1998, Honeywell acquired Data Instruments (Acton, MA), a manufacturer of, for example, media-isolated semiconductor strain gauge pressure sensors, silicon micromachined pressure sensors, linear and rotary position sensors, and safety monitoring equipment, which is now part of Sensing and Control.

Around last autumn, Honeywell acquired Invensys Sensor Systems-a major supplier of sensors and controls used in such industries as automotive and heavy truck, off-road vehicle, industrial, aerospace, medical, appliances, office automation, and HVAC-from Invensys plc (London, England) for $415 million in cash. Invensys Sensor Systems, which has been successfully integrated into Honeywell Sensing and Control, had sales of $253.5 million and EBITDA of $46.2 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2002.

Invensys Sensor Systems' products include MEMS pressure sensors; speed and position sensors using Hall effect, VR, eddy current, magnetoresistive, thick resistive, or Spiral technology; bi-metal thermostats and thermal cut-offs; NTC thermistors; packaged temperature sensors; flexible and transparent heaters; conductive ink potentiometers; resolvers; combination pressure and temperature sensors; and electronic control valves; pressure switches and sensors; coils; circuit breakers; etc. The Spiral technology, which uses printed circuit board traces and ASIC or microprocessor electronics and can be used in linear and rotary position sensing, has found opportunities in such areas as rail brake handle assembly and rail load level sensing.

Invensys Sensor Systems had been finding growth opportunities in such areas as automotive (e.g., HVAC, diesel injection, braking, steering); rail (e.g., brake controls, platform height adjustment); ATVs/snowmobiles; and medical equipment (e.g., respirators, infusion pumps, dialysis equipment). Newer products with emerging opportunities include Hall effect sensors for supplemental brake assist; combination pressure/temperature sensor for use, for example, in diesel engines with turbochargers; Spiral sensors for rail applications; low-cost MEMS pressure with ASIC electronics for medical equipment; as well as media-isolated pressure sensors, and Hall effect vector position sensors.

Sansom noted that there has been a very positive integration of Sensor Systems into Honeywell Sensing and Control, which included some consolidation of manufacturing facilities and sales/marketing and engineering operations. Sensing and Control's sales operation has benefited from gaining access to the Invensys rep network, which complements Honeywell's strong direct sales channel.

Sansom explained that the acquisition of Invensys Sensor Systems (ISS) has broadened Sensing and Control's product portfolio and significantly expanded Sensing and Control's customer base and market reach. The acquisition of ISS has helped strengthen and expand Sensing and Control's sensor portfolio in such areas as temperature sensors (for example, thermistors used in such areas as appliances, medical, off-road vehicle, office automation, satellites, HVAC/R, and industrial applications); pressure sensors; speed and position sensors; and automotive sensors. For example, the ISS acquisition has expanded Sensing and Control's sensor offerings in the on-road and off-road markets; and helped boost Sensing and Control's temperature sensor offerings and business in such areas as HVAC.

In February 2003, Honeywell announced an agreement to acquire privately held Sensotec (Columbus, OH) Sensotec supplies supplier of sensors for measuring pressure (e.g., bonded foil strain gauge pressure sensors, silicon micromachined pressure sensors), torque, load, temperature, force, acceleration and displacement. The products are used in test and measurement applications in the automotive, oil and gas, aviation, semiconductor, industrial and medical industries. Founded in 1973, Sensotec also provides wireless digital acquisition systems, instrumentation and digital gages. Its telemetry (wireless radio)- based systems are used for gathering, transmitting and receiving sensor data from rotating machinery.

Sansom explained that Sensotec provides Sensing and Controls with a strong position in the test and measurement market, where Sensing and Control can leverage, for example, its pressure sensors and force sensors. He noted that Sensing and Controls is finding opportunities to capitalize on Sensotec customers who are in the early stages of development for high-volume applications. Moreover, Sensotec's products and technologies can help accelerate the introduction of value-added solutions that offer more sophisticated sensors with embedded intelligence and communications capability.

Sensors is a key growth business for Sensing and Control, Sansom stated. Moreover, sensors also help enhance other Honeywell products/systems in which they are incorporated. As part of its strategy to continue to expand its sensor business and offer more diverse products to customers, Honeywell Sensing and Control continues to look at sensor acquisitions. Sensing and Control considers companies of various size as potential acquisition candidates. Factors considered in evaluating a potential acquisition candidate would include, for example, technological competence and breadth; product breadth and synergies; and manufacturing locations.

In FY 2002, ended December 31, 2002, Honeywell International (Morris Township, NJ)(NYSE: HON) reported revenues of $22.3 billion, a dip of 6% from 2001, reflecting a decline in the company's commercial aerospace units and the divestiture of its Commercial Vehicle Braking Systems business. Ongoing earnings per share in 2002 were $2.00, compared to $2.05 for 2001. The loss per share in 2002 was ($0.27), compared with a reported loss per share of ($0.12) in 2001. Reported results from both years include the effects of charges and divestitures of non-strategic businesses. In 2002, Honeywell generated a record $2.0 billion in free cash flow, up 40% from $1.4 billion a year ago. The company delivered $1.2 billion in cost productivity.

In FY '02, Honeywell's Automation and Control Solutions segment posted sales of $6.978 billion.

In the third quarter of 2003, ended September 30, 2003, Honeywell reported revenues of about $5.8 billion, up 3.6% from the prior year. Third-quarter earnings per share were $0.40, $0.10 below the comparable period last year, primarily due to higher pension expense. Third-quarter net income was $344 million, compared to $412 million in the third quarter a year earlier.

In Q3 '03, the Automation and Control Solutions segment had sales of $1.875 billion, an 8.6% increase over sales of $1.727 billion in the same period in 2002. Honeywell's Experion PKS® (process knowledge system) leverages pervasive sensors and control software to monitor and process industry plants, often from a remote location. During the third quarter Honeywell's The Round® thermostat, which is part of a Smithsonian collection of pioneering designs, enjoyed its 50th anniversary. Since 1953, 85 million The Round® thermostats have been sold.

In the third quarter, sales of turbochargers (which are part of Honeywell's Transportation Systems segment) increased 16%. The turbocharger business completed development of its third-generation variable nozzle turbocharger to maintain its strong position in the diesel car sector. During Q3 '03, Honeywell's Shanghai manufacturing facility produced its one-millionth turbocharger.

U.S. demand for all types of sensors exceeded $9.6 billion in 2001 and is projected to rise at a 6.7% annual rate to reach $13.35 billion in 2006, according to The Freedonia Group's (Cleveland, OH, 440-684-9600) Sensors study. The U.S. market for process variables sensors used to monitor variables commonly found in industrial process control-related settings (including temperature, pressure, flow, level, etc.) totaled $2.87 billion in 2001 and is projected to increase 5.9% per annum to exceed $3.82 billion in 2006. U.S. demand for process variable humidity sensors totaled $120 million in 2001 and is projected to increase about 6.5% annually to reach $165 million in 2006.

The U.S. automotive MEMS market totaled $460 million in 2001 (of which $200 was accounted for by MEMS pressure sensors) and will increase at about a 13.7% annual rate to reach $875 million in 2006 (of which $400 million be accounted for by pressure sensors), according to The Freedonia Group's MEMS Micro-Electromechanical Systems study. U.S. demand for biomedical MEMS devices (including pressure sensors, biochip/lab-on-chip devices for biological testing/analysis, and implantables/disposables) totaled $215 million in 2001 and is projected to increase over 20% annually to reach $550 million in 2006.

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