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MegaChips to acquire MEMS timing leader SiTime

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:acquisition? MEMS? MegaChips? SiTime?

Marwan Boustany, IHS senior analyst for MEMS and sensors in mobile and consumer technology, pegged the 2014 market at $48 million. IHS is forecasting a compound annual growth of 78 per cent to 2018, expecting the market to grow to $480 million in 2018.

Either way, the two market research firms agree that SiTime holds a lion's share of the MEMS timing market.

Massimini sees SiTime with about a 48 per cent share of the MEMS timing revenues and an 80 per cent share in the unit basis. IHS believes SiTime's revenue share in 2013 was 69 per cent. SiTime's biggest competitor is Discera which had a 29 per cent revenue share in 2013, according to Boustany.

Timing devices in wearables

The success of SiTime thus far appears triggered by its first mover advantage. SiTime "got into the MEMS oscillator market first," said Semico's Massimini, and has "a proprietary manufacturing process, which the company sees as a differentiating factor."

He added, "It's possible that this IP along with its strong position in a market that is poised for high growth is attractive to MegaChips."

Obviously, as Massimini pointed out, "timing is critical for all electronics." Compared to the traditional quartz-based devices, MEMS oscillators are scalable, resulting in lower cost and smaller size. MEMS oscillators are also programmable.

SiTime's Sevalia explained that timing devices are important to bringing "common time, prescission, and reliability" to data measured by various sensors getting consolidated inside wearable and mobile devices. Since quartz-based devices can't fit into very small wearable devices, the MEMS timing solutionsmaller and lower poweris "likely to enhance Megachip's product offerings," especially for wearable and mobile devices, according to Massimini.

More specifically, Massimini noted that in June 2014, SiTime announced a new product line aimed at wearables. "According to SiTime, their solution has half the power consumption of quartz and is 85% smaller. The product also has better frequency stability which extends battery life," he noted. "In speaking with SiTime, they believe they have a two year lead on their competition for this type of solution."

Upon closing, scheduled for November 2014 pending regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions, SiTime said that it will retain its name and operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of MegaChips.

- Junko Yoshida
??EE Times

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