MEMS packaging market to reach USD2.3B by 2016, says Yole Développement

April 04, 2012 // By Julien Happich
In its new report “MEMS Packaging”, Yole Développement analyzed the packaging, assembly & test requirements of MEMS, application by application, it also focused on MEMS package substrates.

According to the market research firm, the MEMS packaging market is growing twice as fast as the IC packaging market, with a CAGR of 20% in terms of package unit shipments. WLP / TSV platform is set to grow the fastest while leadframe and organic laminate based packages are poised to grow a comfortable 16% CAGR over the next 5 years to come. There are plenty of MEMS and sensors to be found in recent smartphone designs: MEMS accelerometers, gyroscopes, pressure sensors, electronic compass magnetometers, multiple silicon MEMS microphones, FBAR / BAW filters & duplexers, RF switches and MEMS oscillators.

According to the report, there is no doubt that MEMS content is growing faster than standard IC content. In terms of how the packaging is involved, it's all about orchestrating the assembly of MEMS sensor and their related ASIC inside a module. But this is costly: packaging, assembly, test and calibration steps account for nearly 35% to 60% of a total MEMS packaged module’s cost. MEMS types of packaging are more complex than most standard IC packages because they require “System-in-Package” type of assembly. Additionally, most MEMS packages are connecting sensors to their final environment, bringing very specific constraints at the module level such as building a cavity, a hole in the substrate or metal lead for pressure sensor and microphones, an optical window for optical MEMS, a full vacuum hermeticity at the die level.

The application scope of MEMS is broad and very diversified. Since its early beginnings, the MEMS industry faced the issue of being a highly fragmented market, with no manufacturing standards clearly emerging. Packaging always needed to cope with the very specific end-applications requirements of MEMS modules.

However, the MEMS law “One MEMS = 1 Device with 1 Process with 1 Package” is now changing as several packaging platform standards are now clearly emerging (such as WLP & TSV interconnects, SiP module assembly based on molded