HP tops MEMS ranking among IDMs, fabless companies

El Segundo, Calif. — Hewlett-Packard Co. held onto its position as the industry’s leading manufacturer of microelectromechanical (MEMS) sensors in 2009 among semiconductor integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) and fabless firms, according to iSuppli Corp. Texas Instruments also maintained its number two position.

“While sales of Hewlett-Packard’s inkjet printers fell 12 percent in 2009, the top player was able to cushion the blow through its large installed base, whose use of disposable printheads or replacement ink cartridges continues to provide significant revenues,” said Jérémie Bouchaud, principal analyst at iSuppli, in a statement.

“More than half of Hewlett-Packard’s MEMS revenue is fabless, and the company outsources the fabrication of a large portion of its printheads to STMicroelectronics. The seismic-grade accelerometers introduced by the company at the end of 2009 have not yet started contributing to its MEMS revenue, iSuppli research shows,” he added.

Bosch and Canon Corp. also maintained their number three and number four rankings, respectively.


The report, “MEMS: Where’s the Money and Who’s Making it?,” reveals that Bosch’s overall MEMS revenue fell by 3 percent and its automotive MEMS revenue declined by 17 percent, while its consumer electronics revenue from the company’s Bosch Sensortec unit rose almost fourfold last year.

The report also finds that although shipments remained flat at Canon, it picked up MEMS share in the inkjet printhead segment.

Other companies that performed well included Epson, which achieved a 12 percent increase in revenue thanks to its quartz MEMS gyroscope business and STMicroelectronics, which holds more than 40 percent of the accelerometer market for cell phones, said Bouchaud.

MEMS revenue for the Top 10 IDMs and fabless manufacturers reached $5.7 billion in 2009, down 8.8 percent from 2008. The decline was less than expected, primarily due to the “impressive recovery” of sensor production, particularly in the automotive sector, during the last four months of 2009, according to the report.

IDMs (semiconductor suppliers that conduct their manufacturing in-house) accounted for about 77 percent of MEMS revenue, compared to 23 percent for fabless manufacturers (semiconductor companies that outsource their manufacturing). However, iSuppli expects the market share of fabless firms to increase over the next five years because of the growing trend in the industry to use external foundries for semiconductor production.