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MEMS producer expands into consumer electronics

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By Don Nelson

Publisher

(847) 714-0173

Oct. 25, 2010—VTI Technologies, a pioneer in MEMS for the past 20 years, is now taking a new direction and expanding into the consumer electronics segment. VTI is already the market leader in low-g sensors for the automotive industry, as well as in ultralow-power sensors for the medical implantable market.

“We are now leveraging our expertise in high performance MEMS and intend to bring out products targeting the consumer segment that will challenge the current market offering,” said Markku Hirvonen, president and CEO of VTI.

The timing is ideal. The consumer MEMS market is booming as motion control becomes more and more standard in user-interface applications, such as mobile phones, gaming devices and TV remote controllers. Especially interesting is the gyroscope-market.

In 2009, VTI was the first MEMS company to adopt Wafer Level Packaging in the world’s smallest and least-power-consuming, 3-axis acceleration sensor, the CMA3000. Now, the same technology is being applied to gyros. The new VTI consumer gyro, which will be introduced at the Electronica 2010 fair in Munich, is superior in terms of size, power consumption and performance compared to products on the market today.

According to Hirvonen, another very interesting focus area is silicon MEMS timing devices. “There is an enormous opportunity for MEMS-based timing and frequency control devices. The challenge has been to overcome issues related to accuracy and stability. We believe we have made a major technological breakthrough in this field.”

The new direction also affects the company’s manufacturing strategy, as the new markets will require even greater flexibility and cost efficiency. “Our manufacturing strategy can be described as a hybrid model. We are utilising our own fabrication for Automotive and Medical products, as well as for R&D purposes, and mass producing our high volume consumer products utilising an outsourced supply chain. In this way we are getting the best of both worlds,” Hirvonen said.

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Telephone: (847) 714-0173. E-mail:  Don Nelson.