March 19, 2010 - MEMS companies sold $7B worth of devices in 2009, down about -5% from the previous year, and there were some changes among top-ranked suppliers thanks to comparative growth (or lack of) in some key markets, according to statistics from Yole Développement.
The top 30 companies (out of 250 MEMS developers and manufacturers tracked by Yole) totaled about $5.1B in sales, nearly three-quarters of the total MEMS market. In a sign of the diversifying times, perennial MEMS market leaders Texas Instruments and Hewlett Packard are still 1-2, but they no longer dominate the market like before -- they "only" account for 25% of the top 30 total revenues, after being 29% as recently as two years ago.
In 2009, TI wrestled the top spot from HP as sales of its digital light processing chips held up better than did those of HP's inkjet printheads, notes Yole MEMS analyst Jérôme Mouly, in a statement. (He also notes that perennial ) Top sensor maker Robert Bosch, meanwhile, slipped past STMicroelectonics to claim the No.3 spot, overcoming a sluggish auto market with "impressive results" (125% growth) from its Sensortec unit.
|Top 30 worldwide MEMS companies, 2009 revenues in US $M.|
Among notable trends in MEMS in 2009:
Inertial sensors/gyroscopes. There's a battle brewing in this sector, with incumbents STMicroelectronics and Bosch now sharing the spotlight with one upstart, notes Yole CEO Jean-Christophe Eloy. Invensense quickly got its 2- and 3-axis products to market after 2-3 years development (vs. the usual 5-10 cycle for MEMS devices) thanks in part to a five-fold production ramp with foundry partner TSMC -- its simplification of capping the MEMS device with the ASIC enables easier packaging as part of the frontend process. The company offers 3-axis single-chip gyro for <$3 as well as various inertial sensor module combinations, and is prepping a 3-axis magnetometer (using its own accelerometer). Look for increased competition in consumer inertial sensors as ST and Bosch counter with their own new products and, respectively, "incredible commercial power" and "incredible technology," notes Eloy.
Automotive shuffles. The industry downturn was particularly harsh on automotive MEMS suppliers (who were already reeling after a harsh 2008). Panasonic benefited by the exit of Systron Donner Automotive -- key Systron customer Continental was already shopping for an alternative supplier to competitors' Bosch products -- to rocket up to No.9 with >$200M in sales with its gyroscopes and stabilizers. Denso and Infineon slumped 30%, meanwhile.
Generally speaking, lots of diversity. Other movers and shakers included Dalsa Semiconductor (19%) and Micralyne (7%), whose performance "indicated the growing importance of the MEMS foundry model," according to Yole. (After two years of strong sales, Dalsa is now the top independent MEMS foundry.) Avago (14%) and Kionix (10%, after 70% growth in 2008) flexed muscles in FBAR filters and inertial sensors for consumer markets, respectively. Boehringer (3%) benefitted from growth in drug delivery systems, particularly nebulizers for asthma sufferers. All other leading MEMS companies saw flat or declining sales, some by 30% or more.
New to the Top 30 ranks are Sensata (TI's former sensor business, which raked in nearly $570M in its March 11 IPO), which morphed into a fabless company to do MEMS designs and integrations. Another spinout, Sensonor (from Infineon), is selling its own inertial sensor modules. And Dalsa also cracked the top 30 in 2009 as customer development projects finally arrive after years in pipelines to enter production at specialty MEMS foundries, Yole notes. Falling out of the top 30 list in 2009 were FormFactor (which was worst on the 2008 rankings with a -51% decline) and Colibrys (which sold off a MEMS facility in late 2009).
|Top 30 worldwide MEMS companies, 2009 vs. 2008 growth.|