STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM) confirms its top position in MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) devices for consumer and portable applications, according to market analyst iSuppli.
The analyst said ST's Consumer MEMS sales grew 63% in 2010 to reach $353 million, which was almost twice the revenue of its closest competitor. ST has become the leading supplier to mobile and consumer manufacturers for both motion-sensor types – accelerometers and gyroscopes.
Having captured around 50% of the consumer accelerometer market in just a few years, ST has achieved similar success in MEMS gyroscopes. The Company has introduced more than 30 gyroscopes since 2008 and boosted its gyro revenue-based market share from less than 1% in 2009 to 30% in 2010.
ST's MEMS accelerometers and gyroscopes have enabled motion-activated user interfaces in a number of popular consumer devices, including game consoles, smart phones and remotes. Also, computer manufacturers widely use the Company's acceleration sensors for free-fall protection in laptop hard-disk drives.
ST recently passed the one billionth MEMS sensor landmark and its dedicated 8-inch MEMS fabrication line, which was among the first in the world, currently produces more than 1.5 million devices a day.
The MEMS consumer market grew 27% in 2010 to US$1.6 billion and similar growth is expected in the next few years, with revenues topping US$3.7 billion by 2014, according to iSuppli. The continued demands from consumer and mobile applications dominate the growth and these fields are expected to become the biggest MEMS segment by 2014.
"Consumers turning, tilting and tapping their gadgets results from the MEMS revolution we kicked off five years ago," said Benedetto Vigna, Group Vice President and General Manager of the MEMS, Sensors and High Performance Analog Division, STMicroelectronics. "Customers love ST, because we've pioneered small, accurate and affordable motion sensors, through the combination of innovative product design, deep application expertise, and bold and timely infrastructure investments. Now we're aiming for other MEMS products and for fusing multiple sensors in one device."
Paving the way for further growth, ST has recently expanded its MEMS portfolio with microphones and pressure sensors. MEMS microphones enable smaller, thinner and lighter designs for mobile phones and other portable devices with better directionality, noise cancellation and fidelity. With the addition of ST's micro-machined pressure sensors, consumer devices will be able to measure atmospheric pressure and/or identify their precise location in all three dimensions.