Don't become hooked on one customer
The Yole ranking shows others also doing well in the MEMS business. For example, Knowles Electronics, a maker of silicon microphones, jumped up to fifth spot as its sales went from $140 million in 2010 to $362 million in 2011, a phenomenal increase.
The cause of the phenomenal rise is no secret. It is the large number of MEMS sensors being designed into smartphones and tablet computers and selling like the proverbial hot cakes during 2011 and into 2012. Of particular significance are design wins with Apple which continues to dominate the mobile consumer devices market and outperform their Android rivals.
But there's the rub. According to IHS-iSuppli ST is the sole supplier of MEMS gyroscopes and accelerometers for the iPhone and iPad and Apple accounted for half of ST's MEMS business
That puts ST at risk of becoming over dependent on the success of one customer in the MEMS area. Does that sound familiar?
Although the true numbers remain a mystery it is thought that ST's dependence on a faltering Nokia, once the undisputed leader in mobile phones, was one of the reasons behind the industry re-alignment that led to the creation of ST-Ericsson.
Nonetheless those perfect growth conditions should help ST and others to diversify their customer base for some time to come. Consumer electronics love affair with MEMS shows no signs of cooling and more and more sensor and actuator functions are being rendered as MEMS. Meanwhile the high volumes and lower prices are washing back to support sales in traditional markets such as industrial and automotive electronics. And at the same time MEMS are starting to make in-roads into medical, sports and well-being applications.
There could even be MEMS component to measure mojo sometime soon.
EE Times Confidential has published a special report and database
focused on Microelectromechanical System (MEMS) components. The "MEMS Sector Database and Report"
analyzes the current MEMS market and its future directions. The report
includes a database of key facts about more than 200 MEMS market
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