Sony increased its MEMS foundry sales by more than 50 percent to $66 million to put it on a par with second-ranked Teledyne, while ST led the pack in 2018 with $182 million in sales. However, ST’s annual growth in MEMS foundry sales was one of the lowest in the top 17 companies ranked; at 4.6 percent.
Silex Microsystems AB (Jarfalla, Sweden), owned and backed by Chinese interests in Hong Kong since 2015, remained ahead of foundry giant TSMC as both saw steady sales increases of about 20 percent.
MEMS foundries ranked by 2018 sales in $millions. Source: Yole Developpement.
It is notable Globalfoundries bailed out of the MEMS market earlier in 2019 despite doubling its MEMS foundry sales in 2018 and leaping up the ranking to seventh place (see GloFo sells MEMS business, fab to Taiwan’s Vanguard). Although Globalfoundries likely retains MEMS IP and manufacturing capabilities, it is consolidating manufacturing on 300mm wafer fabs. These are not expected to be economic for MEMS manufacture for several years (see On Semi buys ex-IBM fab from Globalfoundries).
Rohm raised its MEMS foundry revenue by 93 percent but still remains far behind the established top-six leadership in MEMS foundries. consequence of Globalfoundries’ departure is set to be the arrival of Taiwan’s Vanguard as a player in the 2019 ranking.
Next: Bosch arrives as MEMS foundry
Also of note is the arrival in the foundry ranking of Robert Bosch, a leader in MEMS manufacturing. The company is building a billion-dollar 300mm wafer fab in Dresden where it is expected to make ASICs and ICs for automotive and IoT initially. But this will free up capacity at its 200mm Reutlingen wafer fab where MEMS are manufactured.
Bosch’s MEMS sales in its own name were worth $1.4 billion in 2018, according to Yole (see Broadcom, Bosch increase lead in 2018 MEMS vendor ranking). Therefore the $6 million of foundry sales it made in the same year are down in the noise.
However, as Dresden comes on stream and frees up capacity at Reutlingen, Bosch may well choose to expand MEMS manufacturing there rapidly with its foundry offering. The company said more than two years ago that it was open to making MEMS for others and it appears that in 2018 it stared to deliver on that offer (see Bosch open to making MEMS for others).
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