Research and Markets, the leading source for international market research
and market data, has announced the addition of the "Status
of the MEMS Industry 2009" report to their offering.
In the face of a collapsing mainstream semiconductor sector over the past 18
months, the MEMS business held its own and remained flat. While this is great
news for MEMS overall, for the many MEMS companies that made production infrastructure
investments in 2006 and 2007, flat business made 2008 & 2009 really difficult.
The MEMS industry remains highly diverse and as such the impact of the financial
collapse and economic recession has been varied. While established applications
have struggled, new ways to package and integrate MEMS devices in systems buttressed
the industry. New MEMS devices are indeed growing very fast - 2 axis gyros,
MEMS IMU and MEMS Oscillator to name a few.
Reviewing key players - several companies stopped their MEMS production entirely
or in part (Delphi, Continental, Colibrys, Systron Donner Automotive) while
others saw their businesses enter a huge growth phase (InvenSense, Kionix, STMicroelectronics,
SiTime). All in all, booming new business was entirely offset by flagging established
business with the net result flat.
Innovation in MEMS is changing: few totally new devices are now launched and
most new applications are linked to new usage of existing devices (human machine
interface, replacement of existing technologies). With packaging averaging more
than 40% of the cost of a MEMS device strong efforts are being put into adapting
the packaging to drive out cost and enter new applications (like mobile applications).
In parallel MEMS foundries are coming out of the economic downturn in a strong
position: more system manufacturers have made the decision to stop internal
MEMS manufacturing and are now working with MEMS foundries. MEMS foundries are
extremely active with these new customers. As can be expected, this growth is
attracting new players like TSMC, UMC and others. In addition, wafer level packaging
and 3D chip stacking using through silicon vias (TSV) are also a growth driver
for the MEMS foundries. Driven by cost reduction goals needed for consumer applications
investments in 8" infrastructure continued despite the downturn.