Apple Behind Sensors Giant Stmicroelectronics-sunny came home

Apple iPhone, iPad and Nintendo Wii console sensor supplier s, Europe’s largest semiconductor .pany STMicroelectronics semiconductor (ST), is involved in more than 10 years ago, the sensor business. Investment for the plant operating strategy, semiconductor .panies generally have two options: either like Intel, Samsung as an annual investment of billions or even tens of billions of dollars to develop new technology to produce the most advanced CPU, memory products; either looking for other possible bulk orders using old technology, so many factories to play a more effective. In the face of an old factory in southern Italy, the ST high-level thought, might be able to achieve more profitable business with a sensor that does not require cutting-edge technology. Aircraft parts embedded in consumer electronics Day in 1995, just joined the ST one month BenedettoVigna boss asked if interested in MEMS sensors? "Yes," said Vigna, "What is MEMS?" In this regard, his boss can only spell out "MicroElectroMechanicalSystems (micro-electro-mechanical systems)," the words, and told him the products to take advantage of a micron old technology, rather than the advanced technology of the nanoscale. So Vigna self-energy physics background from the related technologies. A year later, in view of the European industry’s lack of MEMS research, Vigna went to the University of California at Berkeley MEMS research and local businesses. After which he returned to the ST leadership MEMS project. Before ST intervention, MEMS sensors have been in existence for 20 years, mainly for smaller market such as airplanes, cars used. Perhaps because of the ST (ST is Nokia’s main .ponent suppliers), 2001, Vigna suddenly had an idea: Can you put into MEMS the bulk consumer electronics market in the consumer electronics market success gene? However, in order to open this market, and the challenges they face are not small. Brick size was used to detect the aircraft flight attitude sensors, sold for $ 30,000, the power consumption is very high; used in automotive airbag sensors detect an impact, thicker than a smart phone, and the function is simple, and can only be detected the two directions of movement. This situation and consumer electronics markets .pared, there is a huge gap between the cost, size, power consumption, and cost-effective demanding requirements. Vigna start with a relatively simple three-axis acceleration sensor to start. A stepping stone to the consumer electronics market price. In March 2005, when Vigna first meeting with the person in charge is preparing introduces a new interactive Nintendo Wii console joystick, the other frankly asked him: "This is the price we need to, you can provide or not? parts suppliers generally do not want to hear this, but this is the consumer electronics market realities. Vigna later concluded that: "in the consumer electronics market, every time before the arrival of an important opportunity each face a heavyweight customers, the price will be asked about. If you reject it, you mean giving up a a promote large market opportunity . " Nintendo price requirements, have failed due to the acceleration sensor technology, only technically a different approach. Time, the three Japanese .panies occupy most of the market share of the global acceleration sensor, but they are used in traditional piezoelectric technology, which has three defects, for example, temperature changes a great influence on the parameters of the sensor, This means that when the sensor is placed in a smart phone, the phone is turned on, as the temperature increases, the sensor measurement inaccurate; piezoelectric technology to produce it is hard, which makes the high cost of the product; Moreover, its manufacturing process is .plicated, and is not suitable for the rapid supply of the bulk from the consumer electronics markets instant amount rhythm. So, ST proceed with the development of a .pletely different technology. In the acceleration sensor, a vibrating structure of the amplified signal and a detection module structure, these two structures are packaged together, it would be a sensor. ST expect research and improvement based on the world’s largest amount of CMOS technology (.plementary metal oxide semiconductor process) the Thelma technology to manufacture the vibration part, it can benefit from economies of scale from the semiconductor, low cost, like other semiconductor products as continued Quick smaller size, lower cost and power consumption. The same time, ST has also developed a packaging technology called Smeraldo / TSV vias, it flexible encapsulation techniques, products can be made smaller and thinner. Technological innovations enabling ST to provide a price system is .pletely different from the sensor. In 2007, a Japanese .panies to participate in the Nintendo bidding projects recalled that they did not get of domestic enterprises Nintendo orders because ST gives unexpected price. However, Vigna said, the most fundamental reason is the patented technology, "Technology can change the .petitive landscape. Today, ST has accumulated in the sensor more than 600 patented technologies, many of which are industry-exclusive, leaving only 20% in the market share of the three Japanese .panies stick to the old technology. With the semiconductor industry mole law every 18 months, the decline in chip area half the price dropped by half, the acceleration sensor from the Wii console era of $ 3 down to $ 0.3 million today, the area from 35 mm2 (5X7) reduced to 4 square millimeter (2X2);-power level dropped from milliamps to microamps. This is not only to prop up the Wii console $ 10 billion in global sales, is also a wide range of electronic products, such as the iPhone, iPad adoption. However, won many of the consumer electronics market orders, we must consider the supply capacity to match it. A customer in the consumer electronics market, on Monday to get Samples Friday supplier may be required to give him; Once a market from the amount of demand may be in an instant blowout. If you can not fast delivery of quality and quantity, on the fly, and lose an opportunity, we may have to wait 6-12. Order to adapt to the characteristics of the market supply, as early as in 2005, when the industry is still in with a 6-inch wafer fabrication sensor vibration part, ST to do a bold decision to fab upgrade from 6 inches to 8 inches In this way, the production of chips expand the area of raw materials, can produce more chips. In the same time, ST also decided to operators throughout the sensor industry chain within the .pany to do R & D, design, manufacturing, packaging, testing, and application of algorithms, which can more accurately respond to the rapidly changing needs of our customers. The consumer electronics market is also characterized by the fast pace of upgrading. After all, in this market, each product selling period is very short-lived, the average life cycle of a cell phone is only 15 months, you need to constantly. 2010 ST launched a three-axis gyroscope, the same year listed Apple iPhone4 implanted Fengyun gyro navigator Apple phone, you can play 3D games, and can even serve as the instrument of the level of the construction industry. , ST introduced a pressure sensor , and geomagnetic sensor (the North) and digital silicon microphones. Digital silicon microphone than traditional diaphragm microphone size smaller, independent of temperature, vibration and other environmental factors, and thus this Apple smartphone microphone. These sensors can be .binations with each other to provide more consumer electronics amazing features. The ST be.e the most rich and can provide functional modules, MEMS sensors enterprise. ST sensor business in the past five years, grew from a mere $ 30 million in 2006 to $ 650 million last year, an increase of more than 20 times. Last year, the global MEMS sensor business growth of $ 420 million, the ST from to get more than 300 million U.S. dollars. Acceleration sensors and gyroscopes, ST occupy a market share of 50% and 60%, respectively. At the same time, 10 years ago, the leadership of the ST sensor business Vigna Mr. promoted to vice president of ST. The business quickly replication rule Vigna visit mainland China for the first time on paper to write down a formula: Innovation (innovation) Creativity (creativity) x Resounce (resources) Execution (execution) * Focus (focus). Which he summed up in the past 10 years in the business copy rule, this rule allows him to quickly duplicate the experience gained in the acceleration sensor business to other sensor business development. The MEMS business Vigna was carried out in ST leadership to give him good support, but it is not a one-time to give him a lot of resources, which also became Vigna later do the principles of a new project. "If you give you a lot of people, it may be anything you want to do, but this is the equivalent of nothing 2001 we only 12-15 people only focus. Initially, a small team of 10 people to carry out six projects light switch, lab-on-chip acceleration sensors and gyroscopes. Vigna later cut down five of them, all the focus to the acceleration sensor. Now, MEMS growth is the key business group after ST, Vigna architecture still take the mode of a small team, a different team extends toward the different technologies. Each product team of only 10 people, the largest case had reached 35. Each team take entrepreneurial .pany, Vigna parallel management team. Vigna said very important to keep this small team mode, "Sometimes I see the problem is the heart of the team too much, can not focus. Only maintain a small team, and sometimes can not achieve good focus and execution. When you need something up and running quickly, you need to direct high-level management of the .pany. In October 2009, a heavyweight customers (Apple) need a three-axis gyroscope. When first approached, Vigna said can be provided in December 2010. The customer replies: "Too late, we need you before January 2010." Reduced nearly 1 year. So, Vigna has canceled a number of other projects, and resources into this project, he also became the project manager, to accelerate the progress of the project. Another typical case of high-level involvement the ST internal operations such as design, manufacturing, packaging, the algorithm of the whole industry chain, the effective functioning of the secret only one made by a senior decision-making. "People tell us that you can not achieve a structural axis gyroscope, we ignore it and move on; people tell us, the the triaxial accelerometer semiconductor manufacturing process is not very stable, and we ignore it and move on . "Vigna said. This is how they pioneered many of the market only. This year, ST designed for the automotive market, three-axis gyroscope, they choose a key application in automotive infotainment systems navigation. In fact, the car, the first sensor application opportunities from the security system, but last year, the global automotive safety with the gyroscope market is only 20 million, this week’s production of ST, therefore, take into account the market share than the security application market big The multi-car navigation is natural to be.e the .pany’s innovative points. The second wave From the aircraft market to the consumer electronics market in the past five years, MEMS sensors experienced two waves of a growth spurt, the first wave of acceleration sensor is brought by the Wii demand climax, it is an innovative way for the increase in human-.puter interaction. The second wave came from the gyroscope application climax iPhone, iPad and other smart phones and tablet PCs, smartphone applications richer imagination. Nearly two years after the Wii sensor innovation of human-.puter interaction seemed stagnant, Vigna said, "in 2013, the new user interface revolution will occur." Now ST is working with partners with R & D, design and mass production of the innovative solutions ensure that prior to the .pletion of this. "As you can imagine, a motion sensor (acceleration sensors and gyroscopes), touch screen and silicon microphone three categories of products fusion with the program, which is equivalent to the movement, touch and sound .bines three Man-Machine Interfaces together, will put our experience to the next level. " For the second wave, Vigna listed three types of .pletely different applications camera image stabilization technologies, LBS (location based services), remote monitoring, he believes each are market future high growth Pushing Hands. Camera image stabilization technology, the pixels of the camera on the market rising this year, Nokia tele.munications exhibition in Barcelona shows the 40-megapixel camera phone, the gyroscope can achieve professional-grade anti-shake function, improve image quality. Like the CPU industry to promote the multi-core concept, ST gyroscope products and concepts to promote dual-core: one nuclear responsible for image processing, the other responsible for the user interface, LBS and games. In the LBS the market, Vigna indoor navigation and enhanced real is a flashpoint in the future. "You go to a strange place, the sensor has been tracking the estimated trajectory, you point the phone at a store or a cafe with enhanced real technical, you see all kinds of information about the business, and then began to select. Vigna said, not only in consumer electronics, the demand on a number of industrial applications to provide a huge space. For example, a firefighter into the fire, he not only want to put out the fire, and its security is also very important. The sensor can track his trajectory, understand his behavior. As for the remote monitoring in fitness, medical and rehabilitation unlimited imagination and play space. For example, patients with Parkinson’s syndrome exhibit symptoms of movement disorders, tremors and muscle stiffness, their rehabilitation is to by a lot of repetition of a simple normal movements, posture correction, language exchanges. In patients carrying sensors can monitor their activities gesture and attitude to reproduce in the screen to correct, even under normal trajectory motor driven them repeatedly rehabilitation actions. "In the next 2-5 years, the integration of low-power sensor, RF and MCU tiny module will trigger a lot of demand." Vigna said. The Swiss Sensimed cooperation with ST, this module is embedded in the contact lens can continuously detect glau.a intraocular pressure (IOP), tailored treatment programs. This technology to solve the defects of the patients on a regular basis to the eye clinic detection can not capture the intraocular pressure variation. Meanwhile, ST cooperation with world-class health care institutions Mayo Medical Center (MayoClinic) the development of cardiovascular disease remote monitoring platform. A label on the patient’s chest, this tag will be able to provide patients with medical professionals through wireless technology, heart rate, respiratory rate, physical activity information, and other measurement data. "With the sensor, all traces of the people, the attitude, behavior can be tracked records can be digitized can be processed and analyzed, and establish a feedback mechanism based on the result of the processing." Vigna said, "We are in a new era start. 相关的主题文章: