World News


MEMS-based system market to generate $13B supply chain revenue in 2012

MEMS-based systems were a $46 billion business in 2008, and despite the recession they should see 12% annual growth through 2012 to an $83B industry—meaning a $13B market for MEMS devices and the equipment and materials needed to produce them, according to the latest annual report put together by SEMI and Yole Développement.

Despite the downturn, production continues to move to 200mm wafers, and to MEMS foundries. Applications aimed at high-volume consumer markets, or integrated devices made with even semi-current CMOS processes, have to look at 200mm production now—and even companies with relatively small volume products are urged to have a roadmap to 200mm production.

Click to Enlarge
The MEMS supply chain, 2008-2012 (in US $). (Source: SEMI, Yole)

Assuming the same 10% share of production as in the more mature semiconductor market, foundries can expect a $2B MEMS business, Yole estimates. Big IDMs STMicroelectronics and Texas Instruments currently dominate this segment, though a crowd of open MEMS foundries with $15M-$30M in revenues managed healthy double-digit growth by making newer devices.

Demand for materials for MEMS should generally increase in line with unit volumes, though the relentless drive to reduce die size is limiting growth in materials consumption. Total MEMS materials demand should maintain 8.8% CAGR through the next five years, rising to some $470 million in 2012. On the equipment side, existing overcapacity continues to limit capital expenditures. Tool demand dropped to $142 million in 2008, but should jump back up to $510 million by 2012.



A new Microelectronics Innovation Center is being formed at the Université de Sherbrooke in Bromont, Québec (cofounded by DALSA and IBM Canada) to focus on 200mm MEMS and 3D wafer-level packaging.

Shin-Etsu Chemical has joined SEMA-TECH's Resist Materials and Development Center (RMDC) in Albany, NY, to develop EUV photoresist for ≤22nm nodes.

Suss MicroTec says it has installed a LithoPack300 lithography cluster at a Japanese customer.

GlobalFoundries and Cadence have signed a multiyear software and services deal.


Musical fab chairs—Texas Instruments is buying assets of Qimonda's 300mm fab in Richmond, VA; Samsung is upgrading its 200mm memory line in Austin, TX, to 300mm; and ATREG has been hired to sell IDT's 200mm fab assets in Hillsboro, OR.

SVTC Technologies will make siXis' "silicon circuit board" architecture using flip-chip bare die and through-silicon vias.

Penn State has created "acoustic tweezers," using standard manufacturing techniques, for manipulating cells or nanosized beads.

Plextronics has closed a $14M financing round to support scaling its OLED and organic PV materials and inks.

Oxide catalysts (e.g., zirconium oxide) can be used instead of metal catalysts to grow carbon nanotubes, according to MIT scientists.

Semiconductor test firm Advanced Inquiry Systems has raised $11M in a second round of funding, and $33M to date.


TSMC says it will add a low-power high-k/metal gate (HK+MG) flavor to its 28nm process technology.

Fujitsu and TSMC have extended their foundry pact to include 28nm work.

Beijing's TankeBlue has scaled production of SiC wafers to 3" size, and says 4" development is "underway."

ASAT Holdings has named Eric Thompson as interim CEO; outgoing CEO T.L. Li will remain as a consultant.

SEMI has appointed Allen Lu, former manager of Intel's China Fab program, as president of SEMI China.

Like foundry rival TSMC, UMC is floating ~$50M to fund a new unit for nonsemiconductor (solar and LED) markets.


Carl Zeiss is debuting a "correlative microscopy" strategy linking light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy.

A joint venture between BP Solar and Tata Power will market various electronics control products for solar applications developed by NXP Semiconductors, with rollout starting in 2010.

More Solid State Technology Current Issue Articles
More Solid State Technology Archives Issue Articles