ST is 2010 second largest MEMS sensor manufacturer TI

STMicroelectronics (ST) remains the largest MEMS sensor manufacturer in 2010, and its operating revenue is almost five times that of Texas Instruments (TI).

ST's 2010 MEMS manufacturing service revenue was $228.6 million, while TI had only $47.4 million.

These MEMS manufacturers can be divided into two categories, one is "pure" MEMS manufacturers, not for their own production of MEMS; the other is "mixed mode" manufacturers, that is, integrated device manufacturers (IDM), in addition to its own core business In addition to providing MEMS devices, MEMS contract manufacturing services are also provided.

ST ranked first for the fourth consecutive year, and it is the only MEMS manufacturer whose operating income exceeds US$100 million. Produce inkjet wafers for HP, accounting for most of ST's operating revenue. Although HP's inkjet business revenue continues to shrink, ST has managed to expand this business by increasing its share of HP's inkjet production in the last four years. ST also started working with other ink-jet printer manufacturers such as Kodak, and won some foundry projects in the bio-MEMS field, such as the production of insulin syringes for Debiotech in Switzerland.

Although TI maintained its second ranking, its MEMS operating revenue continued to drop sharply since 2004, due to the sharp drop in its large customer Lexmark inkjet printer business. However, TI recently signed an OEM contract with a consumer MEMS manufacturer and is expected to bring revenue to TI from 2011. This consumer MEMS manufacturer ranks in the top 15 in the industry.

The other two more prominent hybrid-mode vendors are Norway’s Sensonor Technologies, which ranks third with revenue of US$38 million. Fourth-ranked Sony, with US$31.9 million in revenue, leverages its major customer, Knowles Electronics, for excellence in MEMS microphones. Performance, operating income increased by 51.2%.

On the whole, the mixed-mode manufacturers have a larger share of the MEMS market than pure models. The top 10 mixed-mode vendors had a total operating revenue of 396 million U.S. dollars in 2010, with the combined total of the two largest STMs and Texas Instruments totaling as high as 70%. In comparison, the revenue of the top 10 pure model vendors was 205.3 million U.S. dollars, of which Silex Microsystems, the number one manufacturer, earned revenue of 36 million U.S. dollars.

However, pure model vendors’ revenue grew faster in 2010, with a strong 48.4% expansion, while the mixed-mode supplier had only 2.4%.

2010: Outstanding performance of the pure model vendors In 2010, there were four pure-mode MEMS manufacturers operating at more than $30 million. No one in the camp had previously reached this threshold. Silex ranked first in the field, half of its MEMS operating revenue from industrial and scientific and technological applications, medical applications and optical MEMS occupy the majority of the remaining.

In 2010, the other three pure model vendors with operating income exceeding 30 million U.S. dollars included: Micralyne, Canada; operating income increased 50% to 31.3 million U.S. dollars; Taiwan Asia Pacific Advantage Microsystems ranked third with operating income of 31.2 million U.S. dollars; ranking in the previous year The first Dalsa Corp. , also a Canadian company, ranked fourth in 2010, operating income is 30.9 million US dollars.

IP ownership and other issues MEMS manufacturers focus on the production of such miniature sensors and actuators for a variety of devices such as smart phones, optical telecommunication devices or blood pressure monitors, and intellectual property (IP) related to these MEMS devices is a non-plant customer. Or its partner design company.

However, in some cases, MEMS manufacturers have IP. This is the case with Memscap, which controls the IP of variable optical attenuator chips sold to other telecommunications companies such as JDSU. IHS believes that this model can often accelerate the speed of MEMS manufacturers' customers to market their products and help them to increase their loyalty, but it may also scare off customers because they worry that MEMS manufacturers may develop their own products and become Competitors.

The production business model also faces other problems. Should they only provide wafers or should they become one-stop vendors? Should they be all-embracing generalists, or should they act as professional firms?

Some MEMS manufacturers also position themselves as sample production plants for R&D, while some R&D vendors want to liberate themselves and become a base for continuous production. Although the competition among manufacturers is fierce, the cooperation between manufacturers has increased significantly in the past four years. This is another feature of the industry.

In short, these issues are constantly being solved, and the MEMS production business is expected to continue expanding in the next few years.