LONDON Ė Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. was the largest pure-play foundry for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) devices in 2011, according to market analysis firm IHS iSuppli.
IHS ranked TSMC number one, ahead of Silex Microsystems and Teledyne Dalsa on an estimated tripling of MEMS revenue to $53.0 million. IHS differs considerably from Yole Developpement in its finding. Yole put TSMC as fifth of the pure-play foundries with MEMS revenue of just $23 million in 2011.
A major factor in the growth of TSMC in MEMS is the growth of its client InvenSense, for which the foundry made three-axis gyroscopes and six-axis inertial measurement units. Both MEMS devices used in smartphones and tablet computers. Epson had been the supplier of tri-axis gyroscopes to InvenSense until it was sidelined by the Japan earthquake of March 2011. TSMC stepped in and took Epson's market according to Jeremie Bouchaud, analyst with IHS. TSMC also manufactured for Analog Devices Inc. and benefited from ADI's design wins with MEMS microphones in the iPad 2 tablet computer from Apple Inc.
STMicroeletronics is considered to be the largest MEMS foundry with sales of about $250 million in 2011, but ST is also major maker of MEMS under its own brand name.
Total pure-play MEMS foundry revenue in 2011 was $286.0 million, up 23.4 percent from $231.8 million in 2010, IHS reckons.
Click on image to enlarge.
Worldwide revenue ranking of pure-play MEMS foundries for 2011 (millions of U.S. dollars).
Source: IHS iSuppli, July 2012.
Ranked second was Silex Microsystems with sales of $45.9 million, up 27.5 percent from $36.0 million, with optical MEMS switches for fiber optic telecommunications serving as its the main growth driver, IHS said
The Swedish foundry has a broad customer base of more than 60 clients, and contracts for MEMS manufacturing include those for scientific applications, scanning mirrors for pico-projectors, lab-on-chips for diagnostics, gyroscopes for consumer devices, pressure monitors for blood-pressure monitoring, and MEMS drug-delivery systems. Silex was an early investor in through-silicon-via (TSV) technology. About 50 percent of its active contracts are related to its TSV process, IHS said.
Optical MEMS is a main revenue driver for Teledyne Dalsa which achieved MEMS foundry sales of $37.0 million in 2011, up 19.7 percent from $30.9 million in 2010.
Market share winners in IHS' ranking included Innovative Micro Technology (IMT) X-Fab, Tronics, Tower Semiconductor, Semefab and GlobalFoundries. Market share losers included Asia-Pacific Microsystems, Micralyne and tMt Touch Microsystems, also of Taiwan.
Gyroscopes were the top source of MEMS revenue in 2011 for MEMS pure play foundries, followed by accelerometers and then pressure sensors. The top MEMS applications last year were for the joint consumer and mobile space, ahead of both industrial applications and medical applications.Related links and articles:
Yole: Sony, Silex, Dalsa shine in MEMS foundry ranking
ST shines in MEMS rankings, says IHS
MEMS market to show 13% CAGR to 2017, says Yole