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

More In-Depth MEMS Talk at MEPTEC MEMS Symposium

Contributed by Karen Lightman, Managing Director, MEMS Industry Group

After hosting MIG’s annual members meeting, METRIC 2010, May 18-19, I had the pleasure of participating in and enjoying the MEPTEC MEMS Symposium on May 20. As you may know, MIG and MEPTEC are industry partners and last year we made the strategic decision to co-locate our events. As was confirmed in our METRIC exit survey, the “experiment” to move METRIC from our hometown of Pittsburgh to San Jose was successful. Our attendance at METRIC was great and I am pleased to say that MEPTEC’s attendance and exhibition participation were also very strong. It was also a lot of fun and here’s why: Continue reading

METRIC attendees think the future looks bright!

Contributed by Monica Takacs, Director of Marketing & Membership, MEMS Industry Group

Wow, what a week! I just got back from a whirlwind trip to San Jose for MEMS Industry Group’s annual members meeting, METRIC. It was great to see so many new faces and old friends at this year’s event.  It was really fun to mingle with the Bay Area MEMS Happy Hour group, as well as some of the attendees from MEPTEC’s MEMS Symposium. Continue reading

No More “Fear Factor” — Understanding MEMS Fabrication

Contributed by Monica L. Takacs, Director of Marketing and Membership, MEMS Industry Group

In the past, the ‘fear factor’ of MEMS’ complex fabrication processes restricted the widespread adoption of MEMS in many markets. Today, however, MEMS’ fabrication is keeping pace with market demand for mass-produced MEMS devices which are being fabricated in the millions. Early commercial successes in inkjet print heads and automotive air bags have given rise to widespread adoption in mobile handsets, video game hardware, laptop computers and reams of new automotive applications. Continue reading

MEMS is Hot at Globalpress Electronics Summit

Contributed by Karen Lightman, Managing Director, MEMS Industry Group

“MEMS is HOT” was the name of the MEMS panel at the 2010 Globalpress Electronics Summit and I’d add that if MEMS is hot, then the MEMS panel was smokin’ hot. For a second year it was my pleasure to work with Globalpress to host a MEMS panel of MIG members at their annual Electronics Summit (an organized reverse press tour featuring international media). While last year’s program was impressive, this year was really truly great and I’ll tell you why. Continue reading

My Visit to Bosch’s 8” MEMS Foundry, Reutlingen, Germany

Contributed by Karen Lightman, Managing Director, MEMS Industry Group

On Tuesday, April 20 I was able to jump on one of the only flights out of Hannover to Stuttgart. On a lovely flight via Air Berlin (totally recommend them as an airline, by the way, they gave me a heart-shaped Milka chocolate at the end of the flight), I was able to watch a gorgeous purple-infused sunset thanks to the Icelandic volcano ash.

My Bosch visit began when Dr. Frank Melzer, CEO of Bosch Sensortec graciously met me at the airport and we enjoyed a stunning dinner at a 4-star restaurant on the top of Stuttgart’s new art museum. How cool to be dining atop a modern cube-shaped modern art museum, looking out on Stuttgart’s main square with two Württemberg castles in the distance.

The following morning I was off to Bosch’s Reutlingen facility, just south of Stuttgart. Bosch’s impressive campus is a great combination of both old and new; part of the facility includes a 100+ year-old former garment factory as well as Bosch’s gorgeously techy three week-old new 8” MEMS/ASIC foundry. Again, how cool.

I had the pleasure of reconnecting with several old Bosch colleagues such as Markus Ulm, Wilhelm Frey and Udo-Martin Gomez and several new colleagues including Rolf Speicher, Frauke Ludmann, Leopold Beer, Frank Schaefer, and Boories Rost. Since I’d had a late night I was grateful for the ample supply of coffee (rivaling Leopold’s caffeine consumption, I was told), but was soon pleased that the conversations would be stimulating enough. I am always pleasantly surprised when I have a site visit and the hosts are not just proud and excited to show me their facility but also interested in hearing about MIG and its member benefits, programs and events! I especially appreciated that the Bosch team was eager to engage in heated debate about the growth and future of the MEMS Industry.

Some key takeaways from our conversations:

  • It’s no joke that the Bosch Process is an institution in MEMS. The entire Bosch philosophy is based on quality and reliability. Bosch as well as its subsidiary, Bosch Sensortec, are first interested in providing a market-needed product and secondly interested in providing that product at a competitive price. First, they focus on providing a quality product and then on providing a quality price. Their devices may be enabled by sophisticated software and algorithms, but Bosch does not overtly use these facts as their market differentiator. Instead, Bosch is selling you the Bosch quality and reliability. ‘Nuff said.
  • Bosch reinvests a considerable and steadily increasing percentage of their annual revenue into R&D. Clearly this investment in their future has paid off (and will continue to pay off) as Bosch is increasingly pushing the size, quality and capability of its CMOS, ASIC and MEMS chips. “Impressive” seems like a weak term here!
  • Though I knew that Bosch was a leader in automotive sensors, I quickly learned that Bosch Sensortec is clearly a leader in consumer MEMS. Their sensors are increasingly found in mobile handset throughout Asia–and you don’t have to be a market analyst to realize that the mobile handset market in Asia is HUGE and ever-growing (I think it’s not “one chicken in every pot” in China, but “one mobile handset in every hand”). Therefore, Bosch Sensortec’s market share is sure to grow stronger.
  • Lastly, really genuinely nice people work in Bosch MEMS. Perhaps it’s my inclination to gravitate towards engineers and my respect for those who are always looking for a better way to do something (and the fact that I married an engineer). But honestly, I was very taken by the authenticity and honesty of the Bosch team, who show a respect for one another that is unique.

I am grateful for Bosch for the great site visit. I really have enjoyed myself in Germany–both professionally and personally. I feel very fortunate to be “stuck” in Germany though I hope to return home on Friday. As on Monday it’s time to leave for the West Coast (of the US, that is) and host the MEMS Panel of MIG members at Globalpress Electronics Summit. Stay tuned for my next blog which will highlight panelist discussions of how MEMS is fueling the economic rebound.