ST's MEMS revenues jump 82% in 2011, but TI holds onto #1 spot


Texas Instruments Inc. (TI, TXN) remained the top manufacturer of MEMS in 2011 with $779.0 million in MEMS revenues, fending off runners-up Hewlett Packard Co. and Bosch in tough competition for market share, according to an IHS iSuppli MEMS Market Brief report.

TI's MEMS revenue fell 4% from 2010 to 2011, owing in part to supply chain disruptions caused by the 3/11 Japan earthquake. Sales of digital light processing (DLP) MEMS chips kept TI on top in 2011, said J??r??mie Bouchaud, director and senior principal analyst for MEMS & sensors at IHS. The DLP business was what helped propel TI to the top spot in 2010, rebounding in the business and education front-projector segment. "Sales are especially strong in China and India," Bouchard notes, where DLP-based projectors have taken market share from LCDs. While front-projection designs are growing, rear-projection DLP TVs have virtually disappeared.

TI also found success in pico-projectors, a still relatively small portion of its MEMS business at <$50 million of MEMS revenues. The company is the top supplier of pico-projectors for both accessory and embedded projectors such as those found in the Beam handset from Samsung Electronics. The product segment will be a main growth driver at TI over the next 5 years. TI also introduced a MEMS temperature sensor, or thermopile, in 2011, targeting new handsets and tablets.

Hewlett-Packard also lost 4% of revenues from 2010 to 2011, coming in with $748.4 million from its MEMS business. HP held the #1 rank from 2005 to 2009, but suffers from price erosion in its MEMS thermal actuators, used in inkjet printheads. HP has lower shipments of disposable printheads as well, since it started migrating to permanent ones in 2005.

Bosch and ST had much larger revenue jumps than the 2 top suppliers, which could indicate more competition for #1 in the near future. The Bosch Group GmbH remained #3 with revenue of $742.2 million, shooting up 15% from 2010. Bosch saw growth in automotive MEMS as new vehicle safety products ramp up with inertial and pressure sensors. STMicroelectronics saw 82% revenue growth in MEMS ??? the largest of any in the rankings ??? to $651.6 million. ???M.C.

Solid State Technology, Volume 55, Issue 5, June 2012

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