PORTLAND, Ore.—STMicroelectronics NV retained its position as the No. 1 supplier of micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) chips in 2010, while TriQuint Semiconductor Inc. cracked the top 10 among MEMS chip vendors for the first time, according to market research firm IHS iSuppli.
TriQuint (Hillsboro, Ore.) placed eighth on the last, up from 16 last year, IHS said. TriQuint was propelled—as was ST—by landing MEMS chip design wins in both the Apple iPhone 4 and the iPad.
TriQuint, known for its gallium arsenide (GaAs) and gallium nitride (GaN) devices used in power electronics, especially in the radio-frequency (RF) amplifiers for cell phones, excelled in 2010 with its surface acoustic wave (SAW) and bulk acoustic wave (BAW) technologies. According to IHS, just one year after their introduction, TriQuint snagged 26 percent of the global market for BAW and SAW, mostly at the expense of Avago Technologies Ltd. (the second largest MEMS maker).
According to IHS, TriQuint's MEMS sales rose by a record 778.6 percent to $74.7 million, up from a $8.5 million in 2009. STMicroelectronics had the second-highest growth rate among the Top 10, rising by 63.5 percent to $353.6 million, up from $216.3 million in 2009. STMicro's accelerometers grabbed half the worldwide market in 2010 while its gyroscope was found inside the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Sony Move.
Both STMicro and TriQuint were propelled into becoming the fastest growing MEMS makers in 2010 by virtue of landing design-ins with both Apple's iPhone 4 and iPad. The iPad has three MEMS chips and the iPhone 4 uses six separate MEMS chips—including a digital mic in its headset--up from two MEMS chips in the iPhone 3GS.
On Wednesday (Feb. 9), TriQuint reported sales of $253.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2010, up 7 percent sequentially and up 31 percent year-to-year. The company reported record revenue for the year of $878.7 million.
The company reported a net income in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles for the fourth quarter of $42.5 million, down from $112.2 million in the previous quarter, but up from $17.5 million in the year ago quarter. For the year, TriQuint's net income was $190.8 million, up from $16.2 million in 2009.
TriQuint said it expects its sales for the first quarter of this year to fall to between $215 million and $225 million. The midpoint of this range—$220 million—would be up 22 percent from the first quarter of 2010, TriQuint said.