Broadcom, enlarged by its reverse into Avago Technologies in 2016, has risen up the ranking on the strength of MEMS for RF and filtering applications, something that is set to influence the MEMS market for several years to come, Yole states in its annual Status of the MEMS industry report.
The climb of Broadcom to the top position was not unexpected. The company had already risen to number two position in 2016 from Avago’s position ranked fourth in 2015 (see Bosch, ST lose market share in 2016 MEMS vendor ranking and Bosch leads, ST stalls, InvenSense climbs in 2015 MEMS top 30 ranking), according to Yole.
The top 7 ranking runs Broadcom, Robert Bosch, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments, Qorvo, Hewlett Packard and Knowles Electronics. This year Yole has not followed its past practice of making freely available its top 30 ranking.
In 2017 the top 30 MEMS vendors had cumulative revenues of US$9,881 million out of a total of about $11.5 billion. In 2018 the MEMS and sensors market is set to reach $13.5 billion and over the following five years to 2023 will enjoy a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.5 percent to reach an annual market size of about $31 billion that year.
Much of that growth will come from the addition of RF MEMS sales for 5G and other applications, according to Yole. In 2023 the RF MEMS market alone will be worth about $15 billion, the market research firm estimates.
RF Excluding RF, the MEMS market will grow at 9 percent per year over the 2018 to 2023 period. With RF MEMS devices, the CAGR is 17.5 percent over same period. The surge in RF MEMS is driven by the move to 5G and the higher number of radio frequency bands it brings and increasing need for RF switches and filters.
Next: By sensor types
Eric Mounier, principal MEMS analyst at Yole, said that consumer electronics is still the largest application sector for MEMS, as it has been for many years, with 50 percent.
Inkjet print heads, a market that put Hewlett Packard at the top of the MEMS ranking in 2009 and 2010, will grow in 2018 with recovery seen in 2017. HP has recorded a 2 percent growth in consumer printer revenue since 2016, and Canon has confirmed a progression in sales for inkjet printers, with strong demand in Asia.
Although the pressure sensor is one of the oldest MEMS technologies its market keeps growing particularly in automotive applications. In the consumer sector mobile and smartphones account for 90 percent of sales. Cost reduction is the priority rather than size reduction. Although there are no big “killer applications” expected in the future, new applications are emerging in smart homes, drones, and wearables.
A related type of MEMS sensor is the MEMS microphone, which has enjoyed a high CAGR over the last five years. “In the range of US$105 million in 2008, the MEMS microphone [annual] market was worth US$402 million in 2012 and reached the US$1 billion milestone in 2016,” said Guillaume Girardin, director of the photonics, sensing and display division at Yole, in a statement.
“Currently, almost 4.5 billion [MEMS microphone] units are shipped annually. The main application is mobile phones, which comprise 85% of shipment volumes, in a consumer market that makes up 98% of the total shipment volume. Tablets and PCs/laptops take second and third place, with 5% and 3.2% of total shipment volumes, respectively.”
Smaller MEMS companies that performed well in 2017 include SiTime, a subsidiary of MegaChips that makes MEMS timing devices, that more than doubled sales and Ulis with sales of uncooled IR imaging sensors.
Bosch, ST lose market share in 2016 MEMS vendor ranking
Bosch leads, ST stalls, InvenSense climbs in MEMS top 30 ranking
ST plans to pivot MEMS expertise into industrial uptake
Japan’s MegaChips to buy MEMS maker SiTime
Analog, MEMS and sensor startups to follow in 2018