ST first amongst three IMU leaders in smartphones

October 19, 2021 // By Peter Clarke
ST first amongst three IMU leaders in smartphones
STMicroelectronics was the leading supplier of MEMS-based inertial measurement units (IMUs) to smartphone makers in recent years, according to Yole Developpement.

Yole's reverse engineering subsidiary System Plus Consulting has conducted teardowns of 114 smartphone models and found for the 54 phones issued in 2020 ST was found in 43 percent, Bosch Sensortec in 26 percent and TDK Invensense in 24 percent. Other suppliers made up the remaining 7 percent.

System Plus Consulting reckons ST has three main different design references and is the leading MEMS device manufacturer with half of the total components. TDK InvenSense and Bosch Sensortec occupy the second and third places, with 27 percent and 17 percent, respectively.

Inertial sensors for smartphones; breakdown by supplier 2019 through 2021. Source: System Plus Consulting

Yole estimates the IMU market was worth US$625 million in 2020 and that it will enjoy a compound annual growth rate of 5 percent over the period 2020 to 2026.

One observation from System Plus Consulting is that ST has achieved significant MEMS die size reduction in their LSM6DSO component.

STMicroelectronics MEMS IMU die opening. Source: System Plus Consulting

TDK Invensense has reduced its technological node by switching its ASIC to 90nm in its last reference and integrating layers of copper metal while keeping aluminum for the eutectic wafer bonding Al-Ge. Thus, the company assembles the ASIC and the MEMS at the wafer level to get a single ASIC/MEMS die.

Bosch-Sensortec MEMS accelerometer die opening. Source: System Plus Consulting

From their sides, the two companies, STMicroelectronics and Bosch Sensortec, decided to combine their two dies in their LGA package, the ASIC on one side and the MEMS on the other. Bosch Sensortec placed its gyroscope and its accelerometer on the same chip in a single BMI270 component.

Related links and articles:

www.yole.fr

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