On the scene at the Hilton Head Workshop 2010

Contributed by Paul Werbaneth, VP Marketing & Applications, Tegal Corporation

“Old haunts,” I’m thinking, “old haunts.”

There’s an Apparition Ale in my hand as I sit waiting for dinner at the Moon River Brewing Company on W. Bay Street in Savannah, GA, and some fried green tomatoes on their way to join the crab cakes already on my table.  Outside the window I catch a glimpse of an old hearse, done up as a tour vehicle, scaring up business for a Savannah (America’s Most Haunted City) spirit tour. Continue reading

Sensors Expo 2010 – Day 2

Contributed by Karen Lightman, managing director, MEMS Industry Group

Day two of Sensors Expo 2010 at the Rosemont Convention Center kicked off with a full tour of the expo floor. Attendance was definitely up from 2009 but in humble opinion, the quality and quantity of exhibitors was a bit lower than I expected (considering the foot traffic the show received). There were, of course, a few exceptions – namely MicroStrain (founded by Steve Arms) – a very cool Vermont-based company using sensors (and MEMS) for aerospace, military and other applications.  I’ve been watching MicroStrain for some time and it’s great to see them doing so well.

Continue reading

Sensors Expo 2010 – Day 1

Contributed by Karen Lightman, managing director, MEMS Industry Group

What a delight it was to be in to Chicago for Sensors Expo 2010 at Rosemont Convention Center. I spent my first day attending the MEMS pre-conference symposium hosted by Roger Grace. The opening keynote for the MEMS symposium was Professor Thomas Gessner from Fraunhofer Research Institute for Electronic Nano Systems (IENS) in Germany. He focused his keynote on the main topic of the day: MEMS integration. In lieu of talking about high volume applications, Professor Gessner spoke of on-chip integration in lower volume for smaller sized customers (their niche). He also touched upon NEMS and a new generation of pressure sensors, as well as nanostructured multi layers using wafer bonding technology. He ended his presentation by discussing the energy harvesting capabilities of IENS’ devices. I will definitely stay tuned. Continue reading

Shifts Occurring in the MEMS Competitive Landscape

Contributed by Jérémie Bouchaud, Principal Analyst, MEM, iSuppli

iSuppli has just released its MEMS competitive analysis for 2010, which screens the revenue of almost 150 MEMS manufacturers—98% of the market—by device and application for the years spanning 2006 to 2009. Not only does this major ground-up and historical analysis provide a robust foundation for all MEMS forecasts at iSuppli, it also provides unique insights on the shifts induced by the crisis in the competitive landscape at the end of 2008 and in the second half of 2009. Finally, it helps to identify longer term trends like the growth of the fabless business or the importance of captive markets in the MEMS industry. Continue reading

ST and Asian players gain share, as Top 20 MEMS foundries slightly outperform sector

Contributed by Jean-Christophe Eloy, President & CEO, and Jérôme Mouly, Market Analyst, Yole Développement

This year’s ranking of the Top 20 MEMS foundries starts to shift East, as TSMC makes the ranking for the first time.

TOP 20 MEMS Foundries – 2009 revenues

Double digit growth at Taiwan’s Asia Pacific Microsystems (APM) and Touch Microsystems (TMT) also help push the combined share of these companies in Taiwan to close to 9% of total Top 20 foundry revenues, which represent the vast majority about 96% of global MEMS foundry revenues of the total MEMS foundry market. That’s still a small part of the total, but it’s almost double the share last year. Continue reading