LONDON – Texas Instruments and Hewlett Packard Co. retained the number 1 and 2 positions in the ranking of MEMS suppliers by sales revenue in 2011, despite each suffering sales slides of 4 percent, according to market research company IHS.
The stars of the MEMS ranking were fourth placed STMicroelectronics which saw MEMS revenue jump 82 percent compared with 2010, according to the researcher and microphone maker Knowles Electronics which jumped its revenue by 41 percent.
The IHS' 2011 ranking is different to that supplied by Yole Developpement in April 2012. Yole puts ST at number 2 and almost level with Texas Instruments but this is because Yole includes both fabless, foundry and IDM sales while IHS excludes foundry sales from its ranking.
Under that foundry-excluded regime IHS estimates that TI led the field with MEMS revenue of $779.0 million, followed by Hewlett Packard, Bosch, STMicroelectronics and Canon. The top ten MEMS vendors had combined revenue in 2011 of $4.7 billion, up 12 percent from $4.2 billion in 2010.
Freescale Semiconductor, which as the semiconductor division of Motorola was a pioneer of MEMS components, fell out of the top ten in 2011 to position 11, IHS said.
"TI in 2011 managed to hold on to the leading position it earned in 2010 because of the continuing sales of its digital processing light chips, which employ MEMS technology," said Jeremie Bouchaud, director and senior principal analyst for MEMS and sensors at IHS, in a statement. "Sales are especially strong in China and India, where the DLP chip in projectors has been grabbing share away from liquid crystal displays."
TI is the top supplier of MEMS-based picoprojectors for both accessory and embedded projectors such as those found in the Beam handset from Samsung Electronics. Picoprojectors contributed less than $50 million to TI's MEMS revenue, but they are expected to be a growth driver for the firm over the next five years.
Bosch showed strong growth on its presence in automotive where the deployment of MEMS sensors for electronic stability control and airbags continues to increase. ST was driven by success with accelerometers and gyroscopes in consumer electronics such as smartphones and tablet computers. In particular, gyroscopes last year accounted for 55 percent of MEMS revenue for ST, up from 32 percent in 2010 and less than 1 percent in 2009.