ARM mobile phone and iPad design wins helped Bosch become the top manufacturer of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) sensors and actuators in 2013, according to market research firm IHS.
In 2012, Bosch and ST had been joint top of the MEMS rankings, according to IHS.
Bosch sales jumped by 26% on an annual basis in 2013 to reach $1 billion in a market that increased 5.8% to $8.96 billion and climbed ahead of STMicroelectronics NV, whose MEMS sales declined by 2.1%, the market research firm estimated.
Overall, the top 20 MEMS producers accounted for combined revenue in 2013 of $6.99 billion, or 78% of the industry total of $8.96 billion. The percentage of the top 20 a year earlier in 2012 was the same at 78% when the group's takings amounted to $6.60 billion, measured against industry totals of $8.47 billion that year.
Bosch is well known as a supplier of automotive MEMS, and automotive was responsible for 74% of Bosch MEMS sales in 2013. However, the company secured most of its growth from its Bosch Sensortec subsidiary, which focuses on consumer and mobile applications.
Bosch Sensortec not only dominated the accelerometer market for smartphones among Chinese handset makers but was also supplying accelerometers into the Apple iPhone 5s and 5c, and the Apple iPad Air, IHS said. Similarly, Bosch Sensortec was the top supplier of pressure sensors for Samsung handsets and tablets, and it has started mass production of 6-axis inertial measurement units (IMU) for accelerometers and gyroscopes in a combo package to Sony, Samsung and HTC.
The figures and ranking provided by IHS do not include foundry sales. STMicroelectronics had about $1,014 million sales in 2014 but this included $220 million of MEMS foundry revenue from the manufacture of MEMS on a contract basis for other companies.
ST's revenue decline in 2013 was due mostly to a fall in accelerometer sales as ST lost Apple designs slots to Bosch, said Jeremie Bouchaud, director and senior principal analyst for MEMS and sensors at IHS. Nonetheless, ST remains the leader in MEMS sales in the consumer and mobile sector, with 22% market share. ST's MEMS microphone business rose 56% as it expanded its MEMS microphone business from Nokia in 2012 to include the Apple iPad Air and the HTC One in 2013.
Other big winners in the IHS MEMS ranking were Knowles Electronics, Freescale Semiconductor, TriQuint, InvenSense, Murata, and FormFactor.
Knowles is the industry's top MEMS microphone supplier and enjoyed 48% growth in 2013, partly due to design wins in the iPhone 5s and 5c and solid position in the booming Chinese smartphone market. TriQuint is a supplier of bulk acoustic wave (BAW) filters and grew its share against main rival Avago Technologies.
InvenSense, Murata, and FormFactor all saw revenue grow in the double digits, ranging from 14% for Murata, to 29% for FormFactor, to 34% for InvenSense. Murata grew largely because of its revenue from the former VTI Technology, which it acquired in 2012.
This story originally appeared on EE Times Europe.