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MEMS foundry rankings shuffle

Posted: 02 May 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:MEMS market growth? MEMS foundry revenues? top 20 MEMS foundries?

The MEMS market achieved 25 percent growth in 2010, but MEMS foundries did not equally benefit from the recorded increase.

The top 20 foundries posted revenues of approximately $535 million in 2010 for a 10 percent year-on-year growth. Companies with manufacturing capabilities led the pack and grabbed bigger slices of the consumer and automotive markets.

STMicroelectronics continued to dominate the MEMS foundry business, capturing $204 million in sales, but there was change among the rest of the leading players.

Swedish firm Silex Microsystems AB reported 85 percent growth and $37 million in sales, largely on demand for its via-first, highly-doped silicon through-silicon-via technology. Sales at Asia Pacific Microsystems jumped about 60 percent to $31 million, moving the Taiwan company into fourth position above Texas Instruments which recorded $30 million.

However, large IDMs able to process MEMS on 200mm diameter wafers captured most business and benefited from the recovery of the automotive market.

"In the future, the large IDMs like Bosch, STMicroelectronics and Panasonic will continue to capture much of the big growth in consumer MEMS markets," said Jean Christophe Eloy, CEO of Yole Developpement, in a statement. "And those foundries coming from the large-volume semiconductor industry [such as TSMC] will become more and more important."

Yole Developpement estimates TSMC roughly doubled its MEMS revenues last year, from about $10 million to about $20 million in MEMS foundry revenues. Other semiconductor companies, such as XFab, TowerJazz and UMC, also saw healthy growth, though they remain relatively small players. Though not yet large enough to make the list, SMIC's MEMS foundry business is also growing, and Globalfoundries is planning an aggressive move into the MEMS market.

While the specialty MEMS foundries may be serving lower-volume customers, those applications include much specialized, higher-margin business in optical, telecommunications and biomedical applications. "These foundries may not be seeing the same big growth, but they are making good, profitable business," says Eloy. And there's a large and growing group of these larger specialty foundries increasingly separating themselves from the pack.

Sensonor vaulted onto the list at No. 3, with $35 million in foundry revenue, as Infineon spun out the MEMS unit to make its tire pressure monitoring systems as a foundry. Texas Instruments, meanwhile, slipped to fifth place from second, on the slowing of demand for ink jet heads from Lexmark, as the maturing inkjet printer market slowed and transitioned from disposable to permanent heads.

The top 20 MEMS foundries in 2010 are:
STMicroelectronics $204 million
Silex Microsystems $37 million
Sensonor $35 million
Asia Pacific Microsystems $31 million
Texas Instruments $30 million
Dalsa Semiconductor $30 million
IMT $24 million
Sony $20 million
TSMC $20 million
Micralyne $19 million
Tronics Microsystems $15 million
Touch Microsystems $12 million
XFab $12 million
Semefab $11 million
Jazz $7 million
UMC $7 million
Silicon Sensing Systems $7 million
MEMSTech $5 million
Honeywell $5 million
Olympus $4 million
- Peter Clarke
??EE Times

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