April 12, 2011 — The MEMS industry grew 25% in 2010, and the 4 largest companies grew even faster, increasing their domination of Yole Développement’s annual top 30 MEMS company ranking. These giants now account for some $2.9 billion of the sector’s $8.6 billion in total sales.
MEMS may still be an industry with a multitude of diverse products, but it’s also increasingly an industry dominated by a limited number of big suppliers.
Figure. Top 30 worldwide MEMS companies ranking – 2010 revenues estimates ($M). SOURCE: Yole Développement April 2011.
Blockbuster recovery and inventory restocking from the automotive sector, and the rush to put inertial sensors in every handheld device, drove a healthy 25% jump in total MEMS sales in 2010, to some $8.6 billion. But it particularly meant a boom year for high-volume MEMS suppliers to big customers. The big four — Texas Instruments, Hewlett Packard, Robert Bosch, and STMicroelectronics — increased their combined MEMS sales by some 37%, to ~$2.9 billion, as they aggressively ramped volumes and shrank die size to drive down costs, and widened the gap with their smaller challengers. Sales of the big four now account for about one third of total MEMS industry revenues.
IHS iSuppli’s Jérémie Bouchaud estimates:
- STMicroelectronics N.V. (STM) revenue for MEMS sensors (not counting its foundry work for inkjet printers) exceeded $353 million in 2010, up 63% from $216 million in 2009.
- The Bosch Group GmbH reached $643 million in MEMS revenue in 2010, up 46% from $440 million in 2009.
- VTI Technologies Oy reached $100 million in 2010, up 35% from $75 million in 2009.
- TI enjoyed nearly 25% growth in 2010, third best among the top-10, raking in $793M worth of MEMS. Also read: European MEMS top dogs led the pack in 2010 and Texas Instruments regains MEMS leadership in 2010, thanks to DLP chips
"It’s very important to be big to succeed in the consumer and automotive markets," says Jean Christophe Eloy, CEO of Yole Developpement. A company needs to be able to ramp volume on 8" wafers to reduce costs, and to continue to invest in shrinking the die to drive ASP down, Eloy adds. Companies with smaller size will remain flat or will get pushed out. Yole sees 3 groups of MEMS companies, those with sales above $500M (the leaders, involved in consumer electronics and/or automotive businesses), those with sales between $500M and $200M (the companies that still can become global leaders in MEMS), and those below $200M (companies that have to specialize in specific businesses in order to be profitable)."
There’s plenty of industry-leading growth among the rest of the top 30 companies as well. This year, it took sales of $52 million to make the ranking, up from $31 million last year. Five additional players reached $100 million+ in MEMS sales, bringing 21 of the 30 to a level likely needed to stay competitive in the consumer or automotive business. The top 30 companies now account for about 80% of total MEMS industry sales.
Yole Développement defines micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS) for this listing as three-dimensional structures made by semiconductor processes, with primarily physical or mechanical function. This year, magnetic sensors were also included because they are becoming so closely integrated with MEMS inertial sensors.
Yole Développement’s 8 MEMS analysts base this annual listing both on direct discussions with the companies in their particular fields as they track some 150-200 MEMS companies throughout the year, and also cross checked with their bottom-up analysis of MEMS device markets. For more information, visit www.i-micronews.com.