Where are the MEMS markets going?
MEMS remains a fragmented market: A limited number of applications have a market size above $200 million.
Simplification of manufacturing is still an objective. The MEMS law – “one product, one process, one package” is still there. MEMS packaging is more and more an “added value step” with 3D MEMS being more widely adopted. Also, software development is now an important competence in MEMS companies in order to sell functions and not devices.
The development of new MEMS applications is taking years to be commercialized. On an average, four years from first developments to first commercial product and $45 million of investment, and three to four different CEOs.
Several major system companies with MEMS fabs are now looking to use external foundries. At least five major companies are involved in such changes, with a total cumulative business of $350 million. Delphi and Conti have already taken this decision.
The 8’’ manufacturing infrastructure is required for companies targeting consumer electronics. It should be noted that MEMS manufacturers not involved in consumer electronics are facing a very strong risk to lose competitiveness.
Competition is also increasing on consumer electronics applications. STMicroelectronics is now proposing accelerometers, gyroscopes, microphones and digital compass. Also, Invensense is searching in its IPO large extra funding to compete on motion sensing applications.
Emerging MEMS market
A note on the emerging MEMS market. Areas such as MEMS ID, ustructures, energy harvesting, uFuel cells, electronic compass, microtips, microdisplay, autofocus/uZoom, MEMS oscillators, and MEMS speakers are said to be emerging.
The emerging MEMS market share was $559 million in 2009, including auto focus — 57.7 percent, digital compass — 22.4 percent, micro tips for ATE – 10.4 percent, and microbolometers cores — 7.5 percent, respectively.
The emerging MEMS market share is likely to reach $2.2 billion in 2015, including auto focus — 36.1 percent, digital compass – 17.1 percent, and micro displays – 15.9 percent, respectively.
MEMS growth will be very strong for these new devices. Most of the new MEMS developments are under the roof of startups. The situation is quite similar to what has happened in the 1998-1999 years, when many new MEMS developments were on the edge of crossing the chasm and are today mature MEMS products with large volume market: gyroscopes, microfluidics. Yole has identified more than 30 startups involved in these developments.
MEMS market growth is coming from existing devices, and brand new applications! There will be special focus on gyroscopes for mobile phone applications.
Time permitting, I shall report on what Laurent Robin, MEMS Market Analyst, Yole, has to say on his report: A special focus on gyroscopes for mobile phone applications.