Apple design wins lift Bosch to top of MEMS ranking

March 10, 2014 // By Peter Clarke
ARM mobile phone and iPad design wins helped Bosch become the top manufacturer of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) sensors and actuators in 2013, according to market research firm IHS.

In 2012 Bosch and ST had been joint top of the MEMS rankings, according to HIS (see Bosch and ST battle for top spot in MEMS market)

Bosch sales jumped by 26 percent on an annual basis in 2013 to reach $1 billion in a market that increased 5.8 percent to $8.96 billion and climbed ahead of STMicroelectronics NV whose MEMS sales declined by 2.1 percent, the market research firm estimated.

Overall, the top 20 MEMS producers accounted for combined revenue in 2013 of $6.99 billion, or 78 percent of the industry total of $8.96 billion. The percentage of the top 20 a year earlier in 2012 was the same at 78 percent when the group's takings amounted to $6.60 billion, measured against industry totals of $8.47 billion that year, as shown in figure.

MEMS manufacturers ranked by 2013 revenue  (millions of US dollars). Source IHS.

Bosch is well known as a supplier of automotive MEMS and automotive was responsible for 74 percent of Bosch MEMS sales in 2013. However, the company secured most of its growth from its Bosch Sensortec subsidiary, which focuses on consumer and mobile applications.

Bosch Sensortec not only dominated the accelerometer market for smartphones among Chinese handset makers but was also supplying accelerometers into the Apple iPhone 5s and 5c, and the Apple iPad Air, IHS said. Similarly Bosch Sensortec was the top supplier of pressure sensors for Samsung handsets and tablets, and it has started mass production of 6-axis inertial measurement units (IMU) for accelerometers and gyroscopes in a combo package to Sony, Samsung and HTC.