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Who are the top MEMS manufacturers in 2014?

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:MEMS? Apple? iPhone 5s? iPad?

HP (fourth) and Canon (seventh) continue to see the revenue associated to their MEMS inkjet printheads declining. Canon saw a slight decline of its inkjet printer sales. Sales of inkjet printers were up 1 per cent for HP in 2014 but the shipment of inkjet is declining since HP started the transition from disposable printheads (which are part of the ink cartridge) to permanent printheads in 2006.

After enjoying a 19 per cent and 50 per cent growth respectively in 2012 and 2013, Knowles saw its MEMS microphone revenue decline 9 per cent from $505 to $460 million in 2014. While Apple was largely responsible for the formidable year 2013 as Knowles won a second spot in the iPhone 5S, the decline in 2014 was also related to the iPhone.

Early teardowns by IHS of the iPhone 6 and 6+ reveal that Knowles was present with ST and AAC in the first batch of iPhones. Knowles dropped out of the supply chain, however, due to a technical defect leaving the business to ST, AAC and the newcomer Goertek. Still Knowles remains by far the top MEMS microphone supplier with more than 45 per cent unit shares. It is also the second largest MEMS manufacturer for consumer and mobile applications with 12 per cent revenue share. IHS believes that Knowles will resume with revenue growth in 2015 as it starts shipping to Apple again.

Avago and TriQuint grew 6 per cent and 15 per cent respectively their MEMS based BAW filter business. The LTE band is a boon for the two BAW filter makers, especially in the 2.3GHz to 2.7GHz bands, as BAW devices perform better than SAW filters at these frequencies, and solve the coexistence issues of Wi-Fi and LTE. The BAW filter market is currently experiencing resurgence thanks to LTE and as the number of bands of in handsets keeps increasing.

InvenSense was the fastest growing company in the top 10 with an impressive 34 per cent jump to $332 million. The vast majority of his jump comes from InvenSense win of the 6-axis motion combo sensor in the iPhone 6 and 6+. InvenSense has also been very successful with its gyroscope built into camera modules for Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS).

Rounding up the top 10, Freescale saw its MEMS revenue grow 6 per cent to $271 million in 2014. Automotive continue to make up for around 80 per cent of Freescale's. Freescale enjoyed especially a robust expansion of its pressure sensor sales for Tyre Pressure Monitoring Applications.

In March 2015 NXP and Freescale announced a merger. There is no overlap on the sensor side. NXP has had various MEMS developments in the past 10 years (RF MEMS switches, MEMS timing...) but nothing has come in production yet. NXP is, however, one of the leading magnetic sensor suppliers for automotive. The new entity will become the leading merchant supplier of automotive semiconductor sensors with a very strong position in chassis and safety applications especially. NXP is also the leading suppliers of microcontrollers used as sensor hubs as it produces the sensor hubs for the Apple iPhone and iPads.

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