Alps Electric and Qualtre, Inc. announced a partnership to bring to market inertial sensors based on Qualtre's disruptive Bulk Acoustic Wave Technology, and Alps Electric moved to strengthen their relationship with Qualtre by making a strategic investment in the company.
The partnership combines the strong manufacturing capabilities and global sales resources of Alps Electric with the MEMS sensor development expertise of Qualtre. The two companies have had an ongoing relationship for a number of years, and executives from both companies believe that this partnership will provide customers with innovative products and outstanding customer support.
Alps Electric will leverage the strengths of Qualtre's sensor technology, which has best-in-class performance on a number of characteristics, such as vibration immunity and bias drift. These features are essential for enabling emerging consumer applications, such as pedestrian navigation, location-aware services and optical image stabilization. Alps Electric will focus on manufacturing process efficiencies to bring Qualtre's industrial-level sensor performance to a price point capable of being used by designers of consumer products. The partnership will also address the strong interest by customers in the industrial market for this technology, since it will revolutionize the price point for robust, 3-axis gyro sensors.
The market for MEMS inertial sensors continues to grow at an accelerated rate compared to the overall semiconductor industry. Industry experts predict the market for MEMS inertial sensors will exceed $4B by 2015. The applications for MEMS inertial sensors are becoming more sophisticated, and Qualtre believes that it has the only technology versatile enough to meet the demands of emerging applications in products as diverse as smartphones/tablets, automotive telematics, TV and gaming remotes, and industrial platform stabilization or robotics. Qualtre has also received increasing interest in its HARPSS(TM)process, which is a key technology to enable cost effective multiple sensor integration.
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