TDK Acquires Ultrasonic MEMS Sensing Solutions Developer Chirp Microsystems

February 28 2018, 02:00
TDK Corporation announced that it has reached an agreement with Chirp Microsystems, a pioneer in high-performance ultrasonic sensing, headquartered in Berkeley, California. With the acquisition, Chirp becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of TDK, enhancing its existing technology in fingerprint sensors, MEMS sensors, and Piezoelectric transducer product lines. “TDK aims to be the leader in the ultrasonic MEMS sensors and solutions market,” says Shigenao Ishiguro, TDK’s President and CEO.

Chirp is engaged in high-performance ultrasonic sensors featuring smaller sizes and lower power consumption compared with existing sensors, allowing for improved applications in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), in addition to areas such as smartphones, automobiles, industrial machinery and other ICT applications. Founded in 2013 based on pioneering research performed at the University of California, Chirp’s piezoelectric MEMS ultrasonic transducers offer long range and low power sensing capabilities in a micro-scale package, enabling products to accurately perceive absolute position in a three-dimensional world.

Chirp solutions enable extremely precise sensing, ranging from several centimeters to several meters, sensing the distance to an object and expanding the way users can operate with AR and VR, detect the proximity distance when using smartphones, and track the variance between a vehicle and obstacles when driving. In addition, the sensor operates with low power consumption and enables products to be reduced in size, providing an outstanding sensor solution that is extremely easy for consumers to use. Furthermore, the addition of Chirp’s ultrasonic sensor solutions in combination to the existing fingerprint sensors offered by TDK subsidiary InvenSense, will significantly expand TDK’s ultrasonic sensor solutions.

“TDK is committed to contributing to the growth of systems deployed in the automotive, mobile, health-care and industrial industries. Our vision is to be the leading solutions provider of sensors for motion, sound, environmental elements (pressure, temperature and humidity), and ultrasonic sensors for the Internet of Things (IoT) era,” says Noboru Saito, Senior Vice President, TDK and CEO of Sensor Systems Business Company. “Chirp’s unique and high value-added 3-D sensing technologies will fill out our lineup of sensor solutions, positioning TDK as the leader in ultrasonic MEMS technology. We aim to continue to be a reliable partner that can provide solutions to the challenges our customers face.”

“Our team is excited to be part of the TDK family. We believe together we can bring ultrasonic sensors to a wide variety of products at an even greater speed and scale than we could on our own,” says Michelle Kiang, Chirp’s CEO. “We see so many synergies with TDK technologies; EPCOS is a world-leader in piezo-ceramic sensors and actuators, and InvenSense is a world-leader in MEMS sensors for consumer electronics.”

The acquisition will further accelerate TDK’s sensor and actuator business, providing an extensive sensor product lineup, including pressure, temperature, current, and magnetic sensors, as it continues to expand its sensor business. |
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