by Jérémie Bouchaud, Wicht Technologie Consulting
Eight-inch MEMS fabs are hardly anything new. In revenue terms, a major part of the MEMS market has been processed on 8-inch lines since 2001, when Texas Instruments moved to 200 mm production. For many years, though, TI was the only significant manufacturer and the opportunity for equipment and wafer suppliers was limited. Since 2005, a handful of companies have joined the 8-inch group; these are Hewlett Packard, STMicroelectronics, EPCOS and foundries Dalsa, DNP and tMt. And indeed WTC estimates that in 2006 around 16% of the revenue generated by the MEMS market was produced from activity on 8-inch lines.
So what will the future bring? WTC believes that 2008 will be a transition year and expects the 8-inch revenue share of the MEMS market to more than double from $1.4 billion this year to $3.5 billion in 2011. This represents a growth of 16% to 31% in the same time. The revenue growth will accelerate in 2009 and 2010 as a number of new 8-inch MEMS fabs become operational.