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Mar 6th, 2013
STMicro lures Samsung with hover screen amid venture exit
STMicroelectronics NV (STM) projects demand from Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc. will boost its $1.4 billion in wireless-component sales as it works toward exiting a venture patronized by those companies.
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STMicroelectronics wants to lure more contracts from the world’s biggest phone-makers with touchless screens -- your hand just hovers over them -- and other parts for phones and tablets, said Benedetto Vigna, the head of micro-electro mechanical systems, or “mems.”

The company, based in Geneva, is focusing on products such as sensors and imaging, which it said make up the fastest- growing segment of the wireless equipment market. STMicroelectronics predicts its sales on that segment will outpace the market, which is set to grow grow 19 percent a year to $20 billion by 2016, Vigna said yesterday in an interview at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

STMicroelectronics and partner Ericsson AB (ERICB) are weighing options to exit ST-Ericsson. A decision should be announced by the third quarter, they’ve said. Just like the venture, STMicroelectronics’ clients include Samsung and Apple, as well as struggling phonemakers including BlackBerry and Nokia Oyj. (NOK1V)

The plan has had little effect on the mems group, Vigna said.

Yes we’re exiting ST-Ericsson, but wireless is still a very important market for us,Vigna said. “If no one had told me in December that we were exiting ST-Ericsson, I wouldn’t have noticed. Customers haven’t asked about it.

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