SAN JOSE, Calif. – Foundry sales of MEMS by STMicroelectronics NV fell in 2012 to $203 million from about $244 million in 2011, but the company still holds a commanding lead in the foundry segment, which only represented about one fifth of the company's billion dollar MEMS sales in 2012. As a MEMS foundry ST mainly makes inkjet heads for Hewlett-Packard Co., a declining business.
ST's $200 million in revenue still accounted for almost one third of MEMS foundry business that Yole Developpement estimated to be worth about $600 million in 2012.
Overall foundry activity was roughly flat year-on-year and so is a declining portion of the MEMS market, which Yole estimates to have been worth about $11 billion in 2012.
The fastest climbing companies in the MEMS foundry ranking of 2012 are the pure-play foundries Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (Hsinchu, Taiwan), XFab Silicon Foundries AG (Erfurt, Germany), Tower Semiconductor Ltd. (Haemek-Migdal, Israel), and Globalfoundries Inc. (Milpitas, Calif.).
TSMC's sales moved from $23 million in 2011 to $42 million in 2012, an increase of over 80 percent, and the company moved from seventh spot to third in the ranking. The strong growth is mainly the result of a production ramp-up to support InvenSense's inertial sensor sales. Also, TSMC manufactures consumer MEMS devices for Analog Devices, and inkjet heads for Memjet. XFab increased sales from $16 million in 2011 to $20 million in 2012 and went from 10th to 7th. Tower Semiconductor went from 18 to 14 as it increased sales from $7 million to $11 million in 2012. Globalfoundries appeared in the ranking for the first time at 18th with sales of $6 million.
Meanwhile, Sony's foundry revenues benefited from strong MEMS microphone demand for mobile phones and tablets. Thanks to this, along with Sony's contract production for Knowles Electronics, the company achieved 30 percent growth.
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Top 20 MEMS foundries ranked by 2012 sales ($million). Source: Yole Developpement, April 2013).
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Top 20 MEMS foundry ranking for 2011 ($ million) for comparison. Source: Yole Developpement (April 2012).
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