According to iSuppli, Nintendo has now topped Samsung as the number one buyer of MEMS in the world.
MEMS or Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) is the integration of mechanical elements, sensors, actuators, and electronics on a common silicon substrate through microfabrication technology. Accelerometers dominated the sales in 2008 and accounted for 85% of MEMS revenue in game controllers. Then in 2009, gyroscopes became top dog and made up 55% of all MEMS revenue in gaming for the year.
Nintendo’s spending habits when it comes to the technology was quite noticeable by Jérémie Bouchaud, director and principal analyst for MEMS at iSuppli who had this to say on the matter:
Although Nintendo had been the No.-2 buyer of MEMS in consumer electronics during 2007 and 2008, the company in 2009 increased its purchase of gyroscopes—a MEMS sensor for measuring or maintaining orientation—for use in the Wii Motion Plus plug-in. This caused the company’s spending on MEMS to rise to $108 million in 2009, up 11.9 percent from $97 million in 2008.
A prediction by iSuppli has been made that as the market becomes saturated with MEMS accelerometers, gyroscopes will be the best bet up to 2013.
That’s tons of purchasing on Nintendo’s part, but hey, they’ve got to be able to make Wii Remotes and Wii MotionPlus accessories for all those millions of people.