TDK announces new acquisition, strategic partnership
Multinational electronics company TDK has announced its acquisition of Chirp Microsystems, a pioneer in high-performance ultrasonic sensing, in a move that is set to further accelerate TDK’s sensor and actuator business.
Chirp’s ultrasonic sensor solutions enable precise sensing from a range of from several centimetres to several metres, 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. The sensor operates with low power consumption and enables products to be reduced in size, making it easy to use across a broad range of applications.
The acquisition will see Chirp become a wholly owned subsidiary of TDK and will significantly expand the latter’s ultrasonic sensor solutions, joining the existing fingerprint sensors offered by TDK subsidiary InvenSense.
“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,” said Noboru Saito, senior vice president of TDK and CEO of its Sensor Systems Business Company. “Chirp’s unique and high value-added 3D sensing technologies will fill out our line-up of sensor solutions, positioning TDK as the leader in ultrasonic MEMS technology.”
“Our team is excited to be part of the TDK family,” added Chirp CEO Michelle Kiang. “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. We see so many synergies with TDK technologies; EPCOS is a world-leader in piezoceramic sensors and actuators, and InvenSense is a world-leader in MEMS sensors for consumer electronics.”
TDK has separately announced that it has formed a joint development agreement with StoreDot, an Israeli start-up that excels in fast-charging technology for lithium-ion batteries. The company’s ‘flash battery technology’ makes it possible to charge a smartphone in approximately five minutes.
TDK assessed that the technology will be necessary to enhance the added value of the rechargeable battery business in the future, which resulted in its investment in StoreDot. The aim of the partnership is to commercialise the fast-charging technology promptly.
This investment is also an outcome of TDK’s global R&D program, in which the company seeks to expand its activities in major regions of the world. Moving forward, TDK will explore new technologies that are likely to grow as future business, and further expand and develop global R&D activities.
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