MEMS Front-End Manufacturing Trends

  • March 2013
  • -
  • Yole Developpement


Innovative processes are fueling the MEMS equipment & materials market. We forecast that demand for MEMS-related equipment will grow from ~ $378M in 2012 to > $510M by 2018, at a CAGR of 5.2% over the next five years. It’s interesting to note that our MEMS equipment market forecast will follow a cyclical up/downturn similar to what the mainstream IC equipment market underwent. The demand for materials and related MEMS consumables will grow from ~$136M in 2012 to > $248M by 2018 at a CAGR of 10.5% over the next five years.


Today, MEMS fabrication is still very diversified and lacking in standardization; Yole Développement’s rule « one product, one process » still applies. Indeed, MEMS has a different story than IC and doesn’t follow the same roadmap as the semiconductor industry. Thus, it’s still common to see many players with radically different manufacturing approaches for the same MEMS device, sometimes within the same company (i.e. both the CMOS MEMS and hybrid approaches can be used for inertial devices or microphones).

However, as MEMS becomes a commodity product with a quicker time-to-market compared to previous generations, anything that speeds up the commercialization process is welcome. MEMS packaging is evolving in a different direction than front-end processing, and Yole Développement has already identified that packaging standardization will become increasingly critical in order to support the massive volume growth in unit shipments, and decrease overall costs associated with MEMS & sensor content. For example, microphone packaging is very similar between one manufacturer and another. Additionally, this report shows that at the front-end level, companies are developing in-house technological platforms targeted for different MEMS devices.

In this report, we’ll also show that as MEMS moves from competing on process technology to competing on functions and systems, a move towards more standard solutions will be necessary to drive down package size and cost. Currently, MEMS foundries still compete at the process level and have to propose a wide range of processes in order to cope with new MEMS designs and structures. This approach differs from fabless companies, which usually focus on one type of MEMS design. Their main objective is to find the most experienced and reliable foundry partner in order to convince customers of their expertise. IDMs, meanwhile, generally rely on robust and established MEMS processes to manufacture their products (i.e. THELMA for ST). Foundries, which must always remain at the forefront of changes in the MEMS manufacturing landscape, have the biggest challenge.


MEMS Front-End Manufacturing Trends report highlights the major front-end manufacturing changes. For example, TSV for CSP is gradually seeping into the MEMS industry. To this end, we’ve analyzed STMicroelectronics’ unique approach to making TSVs in its MEMS die in-house, in order to attach the die to the motherboard. This approach eliminates the area needed for the bond pads by replacing them with polysilicon vias isolated by etched-out air gaps, made with its basic MEMS process but on about a 10x larger scale. STM reports that the 20%-30% reduction in die size more than offsets the modest cost of the TSV process, resulting in a lower total cost.

However, since miniaturization will be limited, new detection principles are currently being developed at various R&D Institutes (i.e. Tronic’s M&NEMS concept) in order to lower MEMS size at the silicon level. This technology is based on piezoresistive nanowires rather than pure capacitive detection, and is poised to be a leap forward in terms of device performance and chip size. This will set the stage for a new generation of combo sensors for Motion Sensing applications, achieving both significant surface reduction and performance improvement for multi-DOF sensors.
Amongst the large array of MEMS technologies, we’ve identified several that will have the widest diffusion in the years to come.

The list includes:

• Through Si Vias
• Room temperature bonding
• Thin films PZT
• Temporary bonding
• Cavity SOI
• Other MEMS technologies, i.e. gold bonding, could be widely used to reduce die size while maintaining great hermeticity for wafer level packaging.


• To provide a forecast in units and $M for front-end MEMS equipment & materials
• To offer an overview of the equipment & materials used for the wide range of MEMS devices
• To present examples of MEMS manufacturing processes
• To show MEMS cost structures
• To highlight what’s changing in MEMS manufacturing, and why


• MEMS process adoption cycle
• MEMS equipment & materials forecast
• MEMS manufacturing process analysis: What’s new?
• MEMS equipment & materials market forecast 2012-2018
• Detailed MEMS manufacturing process flow
• MEMS manufacturing cost structure
• MEMS manufacturing strategy analysis


AAC, Adeka Corp., Advanced Chemical Company, Aichi, Air Liquide, Air Products, AKM, Akustica, 3M, Alces, Altatech Semiconductor, AMAT, AMEC, AML, Analog Devices, Atotech, Avago, baolab, Bosch, bTendo, Brewer Science, Canon, Canon Anelva, Cavendish Kinetics, Colibrys, Cookson Electronics, Daetec, DelfMEMS, Discera, Dupont Electronic Technologies, Dynatex International, Ebara technologies Corp., EEJA, Epcos, Epson, Epson Toyocom, Everspin, EVGroup, FLIR, Freescale, Fujifilm, GE Sensing, Hermes Systems, Honeywell, hp, IBM, IceMOS, IMT, Infineon, Ion Torrent, Invensense, Irisys, Kionix, KiyoKawa Plating Industry, Knowles, Lemoptix, Lexmark, Leybold Optics, Maradin, MEMJET, MEMSCAP, MEMSIC, Memsmeriz, MEMTRONICS, Micralyne, Microvision, Miradia, Mitsubishi, Mitsubishi Gas Chemical, Mitsumi Electric, MSI, Murata, Nanofab Korea, Nexx Systems, Nikko Metal, Nikon, Nippon Signal, Novellus, NovioMEMS, nScrypt Inc., Océ, OEM group Oerlikon,, Okmetic, Olympus, Omron, OnSemi, Opus, Philips, Plansee Metal GmbH, polight, Pyreos, Radant MEMS, Reactive Nanotechnology Inc, Rena GmbH, Sand9, Sandia National Lab, Sensata, Sensirion, SensoNor, SensorDynamics, Sentech Instruments, Shinko Seiki, Silex, SiTime, Sony, SPP, SPTS, SSS, ST Micro, SUSS Microtec, Tamarack Scientific, Tango Systems, TDK-Epcos, Tegal, TEL, Teledyne Dalsa, Texas Instrument, Thin materials AG, tMt, TOK, Toshiba, Triquint, Tronics, TSMC, Ulis, Ulvac Inc, Uyemura Co. Ltd, Veeco, VTI, Wavelens, WiSpry, Xaar, X-Fab, Yamaha...

Table Of Contents


• Report Scope and Definitions p.5
> The Report’s Key Objectives
> What’s New in This Report?
> The Report’s Key Features
> Who should be Interested in This Report?
> Companies Cited in This Report
> About the Authors
> Glossary

• Executive summary p.13
> Introduction
> MEMS Belongs to the « More than Moore » Law
> MEMS has a Long Fabrication History
> No Moore Law, but MEMS Technology is Evolving Anyway
> Moving Towards Standardization?
> MEMS Requires Special Process Steps
> What Makes MEMS Different from the Mainstream IC Industry?
> MEMS Technologies to Watch
> Examples of MEMS Platform Building Blocks
> Equipment Market Forecast for MEMS Devices
> Materials Market Forecast for MEMS Devices
> Generic MEMS Platforms
> Conclusions

• Introduction to the MEMS industry: Market Dynamics and Key Players p.31
> MEMS Sensor and Actuator Applications
> MEMS Market Forecast Shipments (in Munits)
> MEMS Market Sector Forecast (in $M)
> 2011-2017 MEMS Device Forecast (in $M)
> MEMS Market Value 2011 - 2017 (in $M)
> 2011 MEMS Ranking in $M: TOP 30 players
> 2011 MEMS Ranking in $M: TOP 30 - 70 players
> Typology of MEMS Companies
> Typology of MEMS Foundries
> 2011 MEMS Foundry Ranking

• Equipment and Materials Forecast for MEMS Devices p.43
> Equipment and Material Demand for MEMS
> YOLE’s Methodology
> Equipment Market Forecasts for MEMS Devices
- MEMS Wafer Shipment Forecast (8’’ eq.)
- Equipment Market Forecast for MEMS Devices
- Equipment Market Forecast Breakdown per Tool Type
- Equipment Market Forecast Breakdown by Device Type
> Material Market Forecasts for MEMS Devices
- Materials Market Forecast for MEMS devices
- Materials Market Forecast Breakdown by Materials
- Materials Market Forecast Breakdown by Device Type

• Detailed MEMS Process Flows and Manufacturing Trends Analysis p.58
> Equipment and Material Supplier Overview
> Focus on MEMS Accelerometer: Bosch BMA250 3-Axis
> Focus on MEMS Gyroscope: ST Micro L3G3250A 3-Axis
> Focus on MEMS Microphone: Knowles SPU409LESH
> Focus on MEMS Microbolometer: FLIR ICS0601B
> Focus on MEMS Micro-Mirror for Pico Projector: Texas Instruments
> Focus on RF MEMS for Antenna Tuner: Wispry
> Focus on MEMS Oscillator: Discera DSC8002
> Front-End Cost Structure and Manufacturing Trends for MEMS Devices
> Introduction
> Ink-Jet Heads Cost Structure: MEMJET Example
> Trends in IJH Manufacturing
> TPMS P-Die Cost Structure: Freescale Example
> Trends in Pressure Sensors Manufacturing
> Microphone Cost Structure: STMicroelectronics Example
> Trends in Microphone Manufacturing
> 3-Axis Accelerometer Cost Structure: STMicroelectronics Example
> Trends in Accelerometer Manufacturing
> 3-Axis Gyro Cost Structure: STMicroelectronics Example
> Trends in Gyro Manufacturing
> Compass Cost Structure: AKM Example
> Trends in Compass Manufacturing
> IMU Cost Structure: Invensense Example
> New Approach From CEA Leti: MandNEMS Concept
> Trends in IMU Manufacturing
> RF MEMS Cost Structure: WiSpry Example
> Trends in RF MEMS Manufacturing
> Oscillator Cost Structure: SiTime Example
> Trends in Oscillator MEMS Manufacturing
> Micro Mirror Cost Structure: TI Example
> Trends in Micro-Mirror Manufacturing
> Microbolometer Cost Structure: FLIR Example
> Trends in Microbolometer Manufacturing
> Other MEMS
> Micro Display Cost Structure: Qualcomm Example
> MEMS Auto Focus
> MEMS Technologies for Si Photonics
> MEMS-based RFID
> Si Microfluidics

• MEMS Manufacturing Trends by Process p.181
> MEMS Manufacturing: What’s Changing, and Why
> MEMS Si Substrates
- Thin wafers for MEMS
- Engineered SOI Wafers
- 6’’ vs 8’’ MEMS Wafer Size
> Lithography
> New MEMS Materials
> Etching
- Sacrificial Etch
> MEMS 1st Level Packaging
- Thin Film Packaging
- Wafer Bonding
> MEMS to ASIC Assembly
- CMOS MEMS Frontier
- MEMS Interconnect
- TSV as an Enabler for MEMS Packaging
> From “Standard” Processes to Technology Platforms to Products

• Conclusions p.250
> Final Conclusions

• Appendices p.252
> Yole Developpement Presentation

View This Report »

Find all the market research you need - instantly, in one place.

+1.2 Million Research Documents & Statistics +200,000 Trusted Public Sources 350 Industries With Global Coverage

24/7 Customer Support

Talk to Amrita

+1 718 303 2019

Purchase Reports From Reputable Market Research Publishers

The M2M device connections and revenue: worldwide forecast 2014-2024

The M2M device connections and revenue: worldwide forecast 2014-2024

  • $ 7 999
  • Industry report
  • November 2014
  • by Analysys Mason

Machine-to-machine (M2M) represents a strong growth market across various industry segments. The market will grow to 3.4 billion connections worldwide by 2024, at a CAGR of 19%. Security and fleet management ...

Mid-Infrared Lasers: Technologies, Applications and Global Markets

Mid-Infrared Lasers: Technologies, Applications and Global Markets

  • $ 6 650
  • Industry report
  • November 2014
  • by BCC Research

REPORT HIGHLIGHTS The global market for mid-infrared (MID-IR) lasers in 2013 was worth $475 million. This market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.2% between 2014 and 2019. ...

Ultrafast Lasers: Technologies and Global Markets

Ultrafast Lasers: Technologies and Global Markets

  • $ 6 650
  • Industry report
  • February 2015
  • by BCC Research

REPORT HIGHLIGHTS The global market for ultrafast lasers reached $1.2 billion and nearly $2 billion in 2013 and 2014, respectively. This market is expected to reach nearly $5.5 billion in 2019, registering ...

ReportLinker is an award-winning market research solution that finds, filters and organizes the latest industry data so you get all the market research you need - quickly, in one place.