The MEMS market grew 17% in 2011, to reach $10.2bn, according to Yole Développement.
“Growth is now coming from combos of accelerometers and magnetometers and from combos of accelerometers and gyros, which started to ship in volume last year” says Laurent Robin, activity leader, Inertial MEMS Devices & Technologies, “companies who make only accelerometers will have to change.”
STMicroelectronics capitalised on the exploding demand for motion processing in mobile phones for a 42% jump in MEMS sales, to push past $900m in revenues, close behind market leader TI.
TI’s micromirror MEMS business saw more modest, single-digit growth, but also passed the $900m.
Bosch is a very strong 4th top MEMS company with strong growth in 2011 in both automotive and consumer electronics.
Bosch and STMicroelectronics are now the main accelerometer manufacturers of accelerometer in the consumer electronic field.
Smart phone demand drove 40%+ growth across a whole range of sensor suppliers. Knowles Electronics moved up to fourth place in the rankings on 40% growth in MEMS microphones to $362m.
Magnetometer supplier AKM jumped 46%, to $279m and eighth place. Though most magnetometers are not a purely MEMS technology, they are now so closely integrated with accelerometers that Yole now tracks them with the MEMS industry.
Fabless InvenSense jumped 67% to $144m, thanks to its gyroscope and motion sensing offerings made at TSMC, and pulled off the MEMS industry’s first major IPO.
MEMSIC reported better than 80% growth on the strength of its magnetometer and accelerometer sales, to enter the Top 30 ranks at $55m.
Despite its wide diversity of players and products, MEMS still remains a very concentrated industry. The four leading IDMs — TI, ST, Hewlett Packard and Robert Bosch– together sell some $3.3bn worth of MEMS devices, accounting for around a third of all MEMS sales worldwide. These Top 30 companies account for almost 80% of total MEMS packaged device sales worldwide.
This burgeoning demand for motion sensing, location sensing, and better acoustic sensing in hand held devices will continue to drive rapid growth in MEMS. But it will also change the traditional structure of the industry, as those players and markets outpace the once dominant inkjet and micromirror components.
These high volume consumer markets will reward those players who best deliver not only low cost and reliable high volume production, but also fast time to market and ease-of-use.
The coming solutions to reduce costs and improve performance by integrating multiple sensors and providing more sophisticated software to transform the sensor data into easy-to-use functions will drive suppliers from separate components to combination sensors and modules and software that simplify the systems integration work. “Growth is now coming from combos of accelerometers and magnetometers and from combos of accelerometers and gyros, which started to ship in volume last year” says Laurent Robin, Activity Leader, Inertial MEMS Devices & Technologies. “Companies who make only accelerometers will have to change.”
Top Ten MEMS suppliers
Seiko Epson 261