Growing in maturity, the MEMS industry is getting its second wind

In 2014, the MEMS sector represented an $11.1B business for Si-based devices. According to Yole Développement (Yole) latest MEMS report “Status of the MEMS Industry”, the MEMS industry is preparing to exceed $20B by 2020.

“We have seen different market leaders in the past and the competition is still very open,” said Jean-Christophe Eloy, President & CEO, Yole. “But 2014 will be remembered for the emergence of what could be a future “MEMS Titan”: Robert Bosch (Bosch),” he added.

Under this new analysis entitled, “Status of the MEMS Industry” report Yole proposes a deep understanding of the MEMS markets trends and players dynamics. The More than Moore market research and strategy consulting company announces its 2014 MEMS manufacturers and foundries ranking and proposes an overview of the future game-changers including new devices, disruptive technologies, 300mm wafers, sensor fusion and new markets.

mems market forecast

Bosch’s MEMS revenues have increased by 20 percent to top $1.2B, driven by consumer sales. STMicroelectronics’ revenue is thus now lagging $400M behind. Compared to 2013, the top five companies remain unchanged and together they earn $3.8B, around a third of the total MEMS business. However, Bosch’s dominance is clear, as its revenues now account for around one-third of that figure. Among the 10 or so MEMS titans that are currently sharing most of the MEMS market, Yole distinguishes the “Titans with Momentum” from the “Struggling Titans”

Titans with Momentum group includes Bosch, InvenSense and others.

“Bosch’s case is particularly noteworthy as it is today the only MEMS company in dual markets – namely automotive and consumer – that has the right R&D/production infrastructure,” said Dr Eric Mounier, Senior Technology & Market Analyst, MEMS devices & Technology at Yole.

STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments, Knowles, Denso and Panasonic are part of the second group, “Struggling Titans.” These companies are currently struggling to have an efficient value growth engine.

A third family is the upcoming “Baby Titans” like Qorvo and Infineon that have grown significantly in the past couple of years and could become serious MEMS players.

Yole has analyzed the three “Brick Walls” players have to overcome to develop a significant MEMS business. The first is to launch a first MEMS product on the market. The second is moving from one to multiple MEMS product lines to diversify a company’s portfolio. The last is the move from being a device maker to a system maker with a successful MEMS business. So far, only Bosch has achieved a very successful transition.

Yole also announces: “New MEMS devices are emerging.” Under its analysis, the consulting company considers gas and chemical sensors. Such devices are based on semiconductor technologies. But MEMS is a further improvement that can reduce size by half or more and also cut costs, thus opening up new opportunities. According to Yole’s analysis, MEMS-based gas sensors will be increasingly used in applications with formfactor/cost issues, particularly in wearables and then consumer applications such as smartphones.

Another example is MEMS micro mirrors. Yole explains: “They are attracting new interest from the market for optical datacom, with Calient achieving impressive growth, or human-machine interfaces, as demonstrated by Intel’s acquisition of Lemoptix.”

Under its analysis on the MEMS & Sensors industry, Yole and its team took the opportunity to exchange with Jeanne Forget, Global Marketing Director, Bosch Sensortec and Dr Frank Schafer, Senior Manager of product management for automotive micro-electro-mechanical sensors (MEMS) at Robert Bosch on the evolution of the MEMS markets and the ability of Bosch, in the last 20 years and for the next decade, to build and maintain its unique leadership on MEMS industry. Full discussion is available on i-micronews.com, MEMS & Sensors news.

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