Bosch leads, ST stalls, InvenSense climbs in MEMS top 30 ranking

Bosch leads, ST stalls, InvenSense climbs in MEMS top 30 ranking

Market news |
By Peter Clarke

In Yole’s top 30 ranking of MEMS suppliers for 2015 market leader Robert Bosch was able to maintain its annual sales of MEMS at $1.2 billion but rivals STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments and Hewlett Packard all suffered significant sales declines. It was more specialized companies such as Avago Technologies and Qorvo in RF and Knowles in microphones and smaller companies that were able to turn in annual growth.

Top 30 MEMS manufacturers by sales in $millions. Source: Yole Developpement. To see a larger, scalable version of this chart click here.

Although there are bright spots as smartphone makers add features to their models the overall trend is that the consumer industry is slowing down due to saturation and unsustainable growth in recent years.

“This slowdown directly impacts MEMS companies, including Bosch. In 2015, Bosch’s revenue stabilized mainly due to the expansion of its business in the automotive sector. Its automotive business unit brings in $800 million revenue, twice as big as its consumer business unit,” commented Yole analyst Guillaume Giradin.

Avago Technologies had an increase of approximately 41 percent in bulk acoustic wave (BAW) filters compared to 2014, as smartphone manufacturers adopted its film bulk acoustic resonator (FBAR) technology, which saw it climb to fourth place in Yole’s 2015 ranking. Qorvo, turned in a 29 percent increase n revenues compared to 2014 thanks to adoption of its solidly mounted resonator (SMR) BAW.

The market leader in MEMS microphones, Knowles Electronics, grew its MEMS sales by 5.9 percent, but further down the ranking it was China’s AAC Technologies and GoerTek Inc. that really benefited from increased MEMS microphone purchases with annual sales increases of 21.7 and 11.5 percent, respectively.

“Both companies chose to use Infineon Technologies’ products (MEMS die) to develop their microphone solutions. At Yole, we expect a lot of innovations in the world of audio. MEMS technology is clearly a way to improve microphone quality and performance,” said Eric Mounier, analyst with Yole, in a statement.

Another climber in the top ten MEMS companies was fabless InvenSense, which increased its revenues by 33.2 percent compared to 2014, and reached $438 million. InvenSense achieved its growth by compromising on price and profitability, according to Jean-Christophe Eloy, Yole’s CEO. With 33 percent growth InvenSense is now of a similar size in consumer markets as ST and Bosch, Eloy said.

ST achieved $755 million in MEMS revenues in 2015, according to Yole. This represents a 6.8 percent annual decrease and was caused by the effects of competition in the inertial MEMS market. ST has come up with strategies to try and migrate into automotive, to offer actuators and moving mirrors, and has collaborated with Chinese firms to fill its production capacity, Yole said. Yole characterized ST’s performance as “hesitant.”

In terms of outlook Yole said 2016 is likely to be another challenging year but again with segments that offer opportunities. There is increasing adoption of mature inertial technologies in industrial, automotive and medical sectors while smartphones seeking differentiation are looking to adopt pressure, gas and environmental sensors.

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News articles:

Bosch pulls ahead in MEMS top 30 ranking

ST drops in 2014 MEMS ranking, says IHS

Yole predicts the ‘sensorization’ of modern life

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