Page 47

EETE OCT 2015

Not enough money in MEMS, own the data, says InvenSense CEO By Peter Clarke Behrooz Abdi, CEO of fabless MEMS company InvenSense Inc. (San Jose, Calif.), has said MEMS sensor component companies should offer complete IoT application solutions including data analytics. What ‘s the reason for that? Because the price of MEMS sensor components is likely to be eroded rapidly and largest part of the value is perceived to be in the services that can be based on the data acquired by those sensors. “Yes the value is the data rather than the hardware,” said Abdi. “We do plan to bring end-to-end solutions to market in multiple vertical markets,” he told delegates at the European MEMS Summit, an event that was organized by SEMI on September 17 and 18 in Milan, Italy. IoT revenue in billions of dollars by point in value chain. Source: GSA, McKinsey, IHS, InvenSense. “It requires a lot of investment but we have to take this chance and try. Otherwise it’s a race to the bottom.” Abdi portrayed the issue as “the good, the bad and the ugly” of MEMS. The good is that there are plenty of predictions of strong compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) for unit shipments. In 2016 this could produce 16 billion shipments of MEMS units with an average selling price of $1, Abdi said. The bad, Abdi said, is severe price erosion in all the significant MEMS product categories including: inertial combos, microphones, gyroscopes, oscillators and RF MEMS. The ugly is that while semiconductors overall and MEMS in particular are forecast to have 2010- to-2020 CAGRs of less than 10 percent, the IoT equipment based on those semiconductors and MEMS are set to have a CAGR of between 30 and 60 percent. “Our industry is creating such a lot of value but its all getting sucked up somewhere else,” Abdi told the delegates. Abdi flashed a slide showing that InvenSense Inc.’s CEO by 2020 a $1.4 trillion industry Behrooz Abdi would be supported by a MEMS sensors market that would only register a few billion dollars. Yole Developpement estimates the annual MEMS market will be worth $20 billlion in 2020. “Google is going to become a phone operator, laying down cable, sel-ling phones. The Android phone is a collection of sensors. Android is a portal for making money on the data the service operator collects.” Abdi added: “But ambient computing is necessary. You can’t clog up the bandwidth with raw data.” There needs to be local processing as well as processing on the edge of the network and in the cloud, Abdi said. “And that’s an opportunity.” Fragmentation can hinder and help Abdi said that fragmentation of the IoT market was also a double-edged sword. On the negative side because of the fragmentation and one product, one process, limitations of MEMS, it can take a long time to develop novel sensors. “By the time you hit the market the price erosion is killing you. Hence startups going bust,” he said. On the positive side the fragmentation means that there are many markets to go after with end-to-end solutions that could be based on the same MEMS technology platform, Abdi said. In InvenSense’s case this platform is based on its proprietary technology approach for MEMS manufacturing, algorithms and software. InvenSense bought Movea in July 2014 to help it address sensor fusion and gesture recognition, a step on the way to Abdi’s vision of end-to-end IoT systems. Abdi gave the example of a large set of IoT applications that are based on a knowledge of location, activity and context. “Drones are all about imaging and location. But you can’t send all the image data up to the cloud. It has to be processed locally. And even the drones market is fragmenting into different markets; security, farming, domestic, and so on,” Abdi said. “So think about the end product or service and think about participating in the value,” he told the conference delegates. The Internet of Things with sensors value chain. Multiple markers supported by the same CMOS/MEMS platform. www.electronics-eetimes.com Electronic Engineering Times Europe October 2015 27


EETE OCT 2015
To see the actual publication please follow the link above