While the first half of 2003 was not terribly promising for MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) suppliers, business activity picked up considerably in the fourth quarter and has remained strong through the first half of 2004, reports In-Stat/MDR. The high tech market research firm believes that, with two strong quarters already under its belt, 2004 promises to be a banner year for this industry. According to Marlene Bourne, a senior analyst with In-Stat/MDR, “Venture capital funding in the first half of 2004 alone has already exceeded that provided in all of 2003, customer activity has increased significantly, existing MEMS devices continue to find new applications and new MEMS devices continue to make strong inroads into the market. Even better, increased publicity about the sector and its customers continues to generate increased awareness of the products and their solutions.” In-Stat/MDR believes that this momentum will continue over the next five years, as revenues are forecast to increase at a CAGR of 13.1 percent. A recent report from In-stat/MDR also reveals that in 2003:

• Year-over-year unit shipments were up 8.2 percent from 2002 to 2003, with revenues up 35.7 percent.

• Microfluidic devices accounted for nearly 50 percent of total unit shipments and a third of total revenues.

• The top 20 suppliers of MEMS devices accounted for 86.7 percent of revenues.

• Newcomers to this space outpaced start-up closures at a ratio of more than 12 to 1.

The report, “Step-by-step to Success: 2004 MEMS Industry Overview and Forecast,” looks at a variety of trends and issues that are driving the MEMS industry to achieving even greater levels of success. Topics include: VC funding, acquisitions, closures, emerging business models and an update on the MEMS fab business. This report also provides extensive lists of devices being commercialized and the companies supplying them (including where they are located), as well as the ranking of the top 20 MEMS suppliers in 2003. Forecast for MEMS devices and markets are provided through 2008. For more information, visit www.instat.com/catalog/scatalogue.asp?id=47.