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Maxim expands MEMS tech with SensorDynamics buy

Posted: 20 Jul 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:acquisition? MEMS? sensor interface?

Maxim Integrated Products Inc. has announced that it has acquired SensorDynamics, a privately held semiconductor company that develops proprietary sensor and microelectromechanical (MEMS) solutions. SensorDynamics is based in Lebring, near Graz, Austria.

Maxim is paying approximately $130 million, plus the assumption of approximately $34 million in debt to acquire Sensor Dynamics.

SensorDynamics holds numerous original patents for MEMS sensor technology. It has devoted over 800 man-years of research and development to the high-growth fields of MEMS sensors and associated low power interface and wireless connectivity solutions. Consequently, this acquisition enables Maxim to accelerate expansion in markets where it already has a strong presence including automotive and high-end consumer.

"Maxim is a recognized leader in analog integration, and this acquisition extends Maxim's integration strategy by enabling us to fuse many types of sensors with our analog technology. The strategic integration of sensors, analog functions and low power wireless connectivity will allow us to deliver end-to-end mixed-signal solutions that provide our customers with better performance, smaller form factors and lower system costs," said Tunc Doluca, Maxim's president and chief executive officer. "The result will be a unique combination of technologies that will eventually enable a whole new generation of intelligent machines. We're thrilled that SensorDynamics is joining us."

In the near term, this acquisition enables SensorDynamics to focus on its strength in engineering for sensors and MEMS, while utilizing Maxim's considerable manufacturing, distribution and sales infrastructure. This will quickly make the combined company a leading competitor in the inertial sensor, wireless connectivity and sensor interface markets.

The MEMS based sensor market is expected to grow considerably as new applications for sensors are developed. According to market research firm IHS iSuppli, the total market for MEMS-based sensors is expected to be $7.7 billion in 2011, of which SensorDynamics gyroscope inertial sensor technology addresses about $900 million. IHS iSuppli estimates this specific market will grow at a three-year CAGR of 14 percent from 2011 to 2014. Longer term, Maxim will address selected portions of the broader MEMS-based sensor market.

Sensors convert real-world signals to analog signals and are a critical, adjacent function to analog semiconductors. They are a natural extension of Maxim's strength in converting analog signals to digital signals and back to analog. SensorDynamics' current focus on the automotive market aligns with Maxim's goal to grow its automotive business. Maxim's ability to extend SensorDynamics' sensor technology to the high-end consumer market is well suited to Maxim's growth goals and track record of leveraging its own broad intellectual property portfolio to multiple markets.





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