Contributing Editor, MEMS Investor Journal
Despite a slowdown from the global recession, there were no major reshuffles in the ranking of top semiconductor Integrated Device Manufacturers (IDM) and fabless makers of MEMS chips in 2009, according to iSuppli Corp.
HP maintained its healthy lead in the number one spot for 2009, despite the fact that printer sales were down 12 percent due to the recession -- people nevertheless kept buying disposable print cartridges. HP announced its first commercial MEMS accelerometer last year, but it did not contribute significantly to HP's bottom line.
Second in worldwide ranking was Texas Instruments, for its digital light processor (DLP), which is experiencing a resurgence. New applications like front projecting pico-projectors are adding to revitalized sales of DLP for rear-projection TVs using lasers instead of LEDs, creating incredibly vibrant displays at TV-maker Mitsubishi.
Third place was taken again this year by Bosch, which experienced a slowdown in its automotive MEMS sensors that was made up for by increased consumer MEMS chip sales in its consumer group -- Bosch Sensortec -- which acquired digital microphone startup Akustica in 2009.
Fourth position went to Canon for its MEMS inkjet printheads, sales for which were flat in 2009. Epson was fifth on sales that were up by 12 percent due to its Q-MEMS chips and STMicroelectronics was not far behind in sixth, achieving 40 percent penetration of the MEMS accelerometer market for cell phones in 2009. STMicro also manufacturers more than half of Hewlett-Packard’s ink jet printheads.
Lexmark took seventh on the strength of its inkjet printhead sales. Avago took eighth mainly for its popular film bulk acoustic resonator (FBAR). Denso took ninth and Freescale tenth primarily for their respective MEMS accelerometers.
Copyright 2010 MEMS Investor Journal