Leading Market Analysts Confirm STMicroelectronics as Brightest MEMS Supplier
Return on investment in dynamic consumer-MEMS sector sees revenues increase more than 80%, winning 30% market share
Detailed research by market analyst IHS iSuppli into MEMS products for consumer and mobile applications suggests that STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, has extended its lead through 2011 leveraging its long-term investment in motion-sensing devices.
The consumer and mobile sectors are the most dynamic of today’s MEMS markets, and the figures from IHS iSuppli say ST’s revenues have grown more than 80% through 2011. The market research firm attributes this to ST’s strengthening lead in accelerometers, where it holds 50% of the market, payback on early investment in gyroscope development, and achieving digital MEMS microphone sales of more than 15 million units to overtake competitors in major cellphone and laptop PC accounts.
According to IHS iSuppli, ST more than doubled its sales of gyroscopes in 2011, to more than $350 million, taking a strong position in a market that the research firm predicts will grow to over $900 million by 2015. This sales growth includes 3-axis gyroscopes, which ST is able to apply in automotive systems such as navigation and telematics. The analyst also noted that ST has begun shipments of MEMS pressure sensors and has the potential to develop products for automotive Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS); a market it says will show Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of close to 39% from 2010 to 2015.
IHS iSuppli observes that ST committed early to the consumer and motion MEMS businesses, well before “killer apps” such as smartphones and motion-aware gaming achieved mass-market success. Moreover, ST has continued to drive the technology, and is now a leading provider of devices combining multiple high-performance MEMS functions in a single package; its iNemo family of inertial modules in single package is ideal for next-generation consumer products. ST says MEMS packaging expertise and owning the whole supply chain is vital for delivering such advanced devices. “We have pioneered the use of plastic package technology, as well as techniques to avoid mechanical stresses on the MEMS mechanisms, which ensure optimum performance and reliability,” explained Fabio Pasolini, General Manager, Motion MEMS Division, Analog, MEMS and Sensors Group
of STMicroelectronics Industrial and Multisegment Sector.
Also noted by IHS iSuppli as a factor in ST’s success is the company’s willingness to partner with leading technical specialists. This has effectively reduced the time to market for innovations such as MEMS gyroscopes and MEMS microphones.
ST now has over 600 MEMS-related patents to its name, and celebrated shipping its two-billionth MEMS device in February. Within the last weeks, the company also announced its latest highly integrated iNemo device, a high-performance 9-DOF (Degree of Freedom) inertial sensing module that combines a 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope and 3-axis magnetic sensor in a single package.
The new iNemo family of 9degree of freedom inertial modules in a single package matches the high performance of the industry’s best discrete equivalent sensors and leverages ST’s ability to integrate three sensors in the 16mm3 footprint that 12 months ago was the industry norm for a single sensor. In addition, ST‘s proficiency with MEMS technology enables it to produce this module in high volumes, enabling next-generation consumer products in to support advanced movement and location-sensitive apps, LBS and indoor navigation within smaller form factors.
ST is a global leader in the semiconductor market serving customers across the spectrum of sense and power technologies and multimedia convergence applications. From energy management and savings to trust and data security, from healthcare and wellness to smart consumer devices, in the home, car and office, at work and at play, ST is found everywhere microelectronics make a positive and innovative contribution to people's life. By getting more from technology to get more from life, ST stands for life.augmented.
In 2011, the Company’s net revenues were $9.73 billion. Further information on ST can be found at www.st.com.