Sony more than doubles revenues, Silex and Teledyne DALSA pull ahead of rest of the crowd of pureplay independents.
The Top 20 MEMS foundries tracked by Yole Développement increased revenues by 5% in 2011 to more than $600 million. While plenty of companies saw robust double digit growth, the sector as a whole considerably lagged the MEMS sector’s overall 17% growth.
Sony saw blockbuster 145% to become the second largest player in the MEMS foundry business (Sony increase is in part due to Yole Développement’s under estimation of their 2011 business), with $49 million in revenues, thanks to strong demand for customer Knowles’ MEMS microphones for cell phones, according to Yole Développement’s annual ranking. That’s still some ways behind number one ranked STMicroelectronics, whose $245 million in foundry business was a significant ~25% share of ST’s total MEMS business, and an even more significant ~40% share of the total Top 20 MEMS foundry business.
Silex Microsystems’ revenues jumped 27% in 2011, to reach $47 million, drawing away from the rest of the crowd of independent pure-play foundries as the first to crack the $40 million mark, Teledyne DALSA had a good year as well, with 23% growth to $37 million. These two companies together added $17 million in business, capturing much of the total growth in the pure-play foundry market, and widening the gap with the rest of the crowd of mid-size independents. Silex’s TSV technology has been a big driver for its foundry business, while Teledyne DALSA has chosen its customers carefully, to concentrate on fewer, higher value projects.
But the limited growth of the foundry market, with far fewer venture-capital funded startups these days and far more interest in high volume production for consumer markets, means less new business for many of the crowd of small foundries. Much of the total foundry production for established players is also of ink jet heads, a mature market where sales are slowing. “The foundry business is not growing as fast as the MEMS market, as the big IDMs dominate the market and are growing bigger and bigger,” notes Eric Mounier, Senior Analyst, MEMS Devices & Technology at Yole Développement. “Competition will get a lot tougher, and some of the players will struggle.”
The growth of high volume consumer markets for MEMS is bringing added competition from players from the CMOS world as well. Foundries from the IC business did better than many of the crowd of mid-size pure-play MEMS specialists, as TSMC saw 15% growth to ~$23 million and Xfab a 33% increase to ~$16 million. And new entrants from the IC side claim MEMS technology is now mature enough that they too expect to be able to ramp production quickly. Analog IC maker Micrel make the Top Foundries list for the first time this year, with a modest ~$4 million in revenues, as it started volume production for a first customer. GLOBAL FOUNDRIES didn’t make the list, but was right behind the Top 20, as it has qualified volume production for InvenSense in less than two years after first installing equipment, with volume ramp for several more customers reportedly to follow shortly.
For more informatin, please contact Sandrine Leroy