Following 80% of growth in 2012, TSMC passes specialty MEMS players in Yole’s annual ranking
The Taiwanese foundry’s MEMS business is now the largest of any open foundry, putting it shoulder-to-shoulder with pure-play specialty MEMS foundries like TELEDYNEDALSA (at USD39 million), according to Yole figures.
TSMC’s strong growth is mainly the result of a production ramp-up to support InvenSense’s USD40M in additional inertial sensor sales. Also, TSMC manufactures consumer MEMS devices for Analog Devices, and inkjet heads for Memjet. Please note that Yole Développement’s figures only count the MEMS manufacturing value, not the value of the ASIC, even if bonded to the MEMS device.
Thanks to its contract production for Hewlett Packard, STMicroelectronics continues to dominate the MEMS foundry business. Though ST’s foundry income declined about 20% last year when demand for HP’s inkjet heads dropped off, its USD200M in revenue still accounted for almost one-third of the USD600M MEMS foundry business.
Meanwhile, Sony’s foundry revenues benefited from strong MEMS microphone demand for mobile phones and tablets. Thanks to this, along with Sony’s contract production for Knowles Electronics, the company achieved about 30% of growth. Beneath these two large-contract/single-customer producers exists a tight cluster of leading open foundries with sales between USD30M and USD40M, including TSMC, Teledyne DALSA, Silex Microsystems, and the combined sales of Asia Pacific Microsystems and its parent, UMC. Foundries in the USD10M – USD20M range continue to fight for a piece of the high-value, low-volume specialty MEMS manufacturing market. Overall, however, the foundry business is not seeing the same fast growth as the MEMS industry, since IDMs have captured most of the increase in the high-volume consumer mobile business. One newcomer to our rankings is Globalfoundries, a MEMS company that experienced circa 50% of growth thanks to production ramp-up for its customers, including InvenSense. More than ever, Yole Développement’s MEMS law rings true: each company has the process knowledge to create its own devices, thus rendering moot the idea of industry standardization and the emergence of large foundries.
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