Operational fabs for sale could fill capacity gap to meet robust global demand for MEMS devices driven by explosive growth within smartphone and tablet segments
MEMS Executive Congress Europe 2012, Zurich, Switzerland, March 20, 2012 – ATREG, Inc., an advisory firm to the global semiconductor industry headquartered in Seattle, USA and a new member of MEMS Industry Group (MIG), reports today that the global MEMS sector is showing strong demand for operational semiconductor manufacturing fabs that are currently available for purchase. ATREG, which provides semiconductor companies with objective market analysis, strategic advice, and transaction execution expertise for asset dispositions and acquisitions, thinks that operational fabs currently available on the market could fill the capacity gap to meet the robust global demand for MEMS devices, which is primarily being driven by the explosive growth within smartphone and tablet segments.
According to IHS iSuppli, the aggregate MEMS market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.5 percent between 2010 and 2015, with current predictions of 22 percent CAGR for consumer and mobile products alone (from $1.5 billion in 2010 to $4.4 billion in 2015). In 2010, pure-play MEMS foundries experienced a 48.4 percent expansion, compared with only 2.4 percent for standard semiconductor foundries. To keep pace with demand, MEMS manufacturers are gearing up by enhancing manufacturing capabilities and capacities. Companies are beginning to recognize that existing, operational fabs available for purchase can provide time-to-market and cost advantages. By acquiring an operational fab with ongoing production, MEMS companies can gradually introduce capacity into the fab without bearing the 100 percent of operational fab cost during the initial product qualification and ramp phases. As the seller’s production volumes decline over time, the buyer introduces incremental production capacity to maintain a healthy fab utilization rate.
“We think 150mm fabs at less advanced geometry nodes can be a cost-effective option for MEMS manufacturers to target,” explains Barnett Silver, senior vice president and principal of ATREG. “For example, Texas Instruments is currently offering two such assets – automotive-qualified, operational 150mm operational fabs in Hiji, Japan and Houston, TX. Now is a good time for MEMS companies to look into all available options to expand much needed capacity at an affordable cost.”
“OEMs are integrating MEMS devices into consumer, biomedical / quality of Life, automotive, and industrial applications by the hundreds of millions,” said Karen Lightman, managing director, MEMS Industry Group. “With such strong demand for commercially available MEMS, fabless, fab-lite, and integrated device manufacturers are employing diverse approaches to keep pace. As the trade association advancing MEMS across global markets, MEMS Industry Group is pleased to welcome ATREG to our community of members.”
– ends –
About ATREG, Inc.
Based in Seattle, WA, ATREG is a global advisory firm to the semiconductor industry. The company provides some of the world’s largest and most reputable companies with objective market analysis, strategic advice, and transaction execution expertise for the disposition and acquisition of operational assets. With its extensive market knowledge, key industry relationships, and proven track record, ATREG has advised clients in transactions representing a combined market value of over $5 billion over the past 10 years. ATREG is a member of MEMS Industry Group (MIG). For more information, please visit us online at www.atreg.com.