March 26, 2012 -- The market for micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS) grew 17% to $10.2 billion in 2011, according to Yole Développement’s latest market analysis. The top 2 suppliers -- Texas Instruments (TXN, TI) and STMicroelectronics (STM, ST) -- neared $1 billion in sales each. The top 30 companies account for nearly 80% of total MEMS packaged device sales worldwide.
Despite its wide diversity of players and products, MEMS is a very concentrated industry. The four leading integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) -- TI, ST, Hewlett Packard and Robert Bosch -- together sell some $3.3 billion worth of MEMS devices, accounting for around a third of all MEMS sales worldwide.
|Figure. Top 30 MEMS suppliers by 2011 sales. For companies that do not release their MEMS results, Yole estimates sales based on the number of devices sold in the companies’ product markets, the companies’ market share, and the device price based on published prices or reverse engineering studies.|
The #1 MEMS supplier, Texas Instruments, is the traditional sector leader. TI's more mature micro-mirror MEMS business saw modest, single-digit growth.
STMicroelectronics' motion processing products made gains from the explosive rise in mobile phones. Smart phone demand drove 40% or better growth across a range of sensor suppliers. ST had a 42% jump in MEMS sales last year, taking the #2 spot with more than $900 million in revenues.
Bosch, the #4 supplier in Yole's top-30 MEMS company ranking, grew in automotive and consumer electronics. Bosch and STMicroelectronics are now the main manufacturers of accelerometers for consumer electronics.
Knowles Electronics moved up to #5 ($362 million) on 40% growth in MEMS microphones.
Magnetometer supplier AKM jumped 46%, to $279 million and #8. Though most magnetometers are not a purely MEMS technology, they are now so closely integrated with accelerometers that Yole tracks them with the MEMS industry.
Fabless InvenSense jumped 67% to $144 million on gyroscope and motion sensing sales. TSMC manufactures the company's products.
MEMSIC reported 80+% growth thanks to magnetometer and accelerometer sales, to enter the Top 30 ranks at $55 million.
Demand for motion, location, and acoustic sensing in handheld devices will continue to drive rapid growth for MEMS. These mobile applications will change the traditional structure of the industry, outpacing the once-dominant inkjet and micromirror components. High-volume consumer markets select for low cost, reliable high-volume production, fast time to market, and ease-of-use.
Suppliers will move from making separate components to combination sensors and modules as sensor fusion software transforms the sensor data into easy-to-use functions. "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," said Laurent Robin, Activity Leader, Inertial MEMS Devices & Technologies, Yole. “Companies who make only accelerometers will have to change.”
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