LYON, FRANCE: The MEMS industry had a great 25 percent growth year in 2010--but the four largest companies grew even faster, to increase their domination of Yole Développement's annual Top 30 MEMS company ranking, and of the sector as a whole. These giants now account for some $2.9 billion of the sector's $8.6 billion in total sales.Source: Yole Yole Développement, France.
MEMS may still be an industry with a multitude of diverse products, but it’s also increasingly an industry dominated by a limited number of big suppliers.
Blockbuster recovery and inventory restocking from the automotive sector, and the rush to put inertial sensors in every handheld device, drove a healthy 25 percent jump in total MEMS sales in 2010, to some $8.6 billion. But it particularly meant a boom year for high volume MEMS suppliers to big customers.
The big four –Texas Instruments, Hewlett Packard, Robert Bosch and STMicroelectronics—increased their combined MEMS sales by some 37%, to ~$2.9 billion, as they aggressively ramped volumes and shrank die size to drive down costs, and widened the gap with their smaller challengers. Sales of the big four now account for about one third of total MEMS industry revenues.
“It’s very important to be big to succeed in the consumer and automotive markets,” says Jean Christophe Eloy, CEO of Yole Developpement. “A company needs to have size big enough to ramp volume on 8-inch wafers to reduce costs, and to continue to invest in shrinking the die to drive ASP down. Companies with smaller size will remain flat or will get pushed out. We now see clearly three groups of MEMS companies, those with sales above $500 million (the leaders, involved in consumer electronics and/or automotive businesses), those with sales between $500 million and $200 million ( the companies that still can become global leaders in MEMS) and those below $200 million (companies that have to specialize in specific businesses in order to be profitable)”
There’s plenty of industry-leading growth among the rest of the Top 30 companies as well. This year it took sales of $52 million to make the ranking, up from only $31 million last year. Five additional players reached $100 million or more in MEMS sales, bringing 21 of the 30 to a level likely needed to stay competitive in the consumer or automotive business. The Top 30 companies now account for about 80 percent of total MEMS industry sales.