Nintendo's Use of Wireless MEMS Surpasses Samsung

Study finds use of sensors soaring in consumer electronics.

Nintendo surpassed Samsung last year as the larger global buyer of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) used in consumer-electronic products and cell phones, according to a new report.

The video-game manufacturer boosted its MEMs spending by 12% with $108 million, passing Samsung, which spent $105 million in 2009. Samsung had been the dominant buyer for years, according to researcher iSuppli Corp.

Over the previous two years, Nintendo had been the No. 2 buyer of MEMS in consumer electronics, but increased its purchases on account of new products. The Wii Motion Plus expansion device for its popular game console uses sensors for measuring orientation to accurately record complex motions.

The consumer-electronics industry was faced with drastic cuts in spending in 2009, according to iSuppli, but the market for MEMS used in consumer electronics and cell phones grew 7.6% to $1.19 billion. The researcher forecasts 18% annual growth for the MEMS industry for the 2008-2013 period.

Rounding out the top five buyers of MEMS in 2009 were Nokia in third place, LG Electronics in fourth and Apple in fifth.

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