The MEMS market - who are the winners, the losers

March 10, 2014 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
How dynamic the market for MEMS is shows a recent survey from IHS technology. These microelectromechanical systems are increasingly pervasive as sensors in almost any kind of electronic product - from smartphones to cars and from tool machines to sports gadgets.

According to the survey, Bosch has emerged as the clear market leader, leaving behind STMicroelectronics which past year was on par with Stuttgart, Germany, based Bosch group. Bosch achieved sales of $ 1 billion with MEMS products alone, mostly thanks to its strong position in the automotive market which absorbs 74 % of the company's MEMS products, such as flow sensors, pressure sensors, accelerometers or gyroscopes.

Bosch's growth however was boosted by demand in a new market segment: Consumer and mobile applications. Overall, the Swabian company achieved sales growth of 26 % - surprisingly much for a large vessel. But if one thinks that this is an amazing amount should look at Knowles Electroncis. The Illinois, USA, based maker of MEMS microphones boosted sales by as much as 48 percent and was the fastest-growing MEMS provider within the top 20. Actually, with 26 % Bosch ranks only fourth - besides Knowles, also InvenSense (33,7%) and FormFactor (29%), both from California grew faster.

In terms of sales, STMicroelectroncis ranks second, with a MEMS revenue of $777 million, followed by Texas Instruments ($713 million) and HP ($620 million). The top 20 account for 78% of the market.

The losers in IHS' list were Panasonic, Analog Devices and Epson with a sales decline of 23.5%, 10.3% and 9.9 %, respectively. STMicroelectronics which last years stood at the top position along with Bosch, saw sales decline by 2.1% and now ranks no. 2 in the market. Besides ST, also Texas Instruments and HP fell back.