Electronics & Computers

Alps Electric and Qualtre Announce Partnership

June 11, 2013

The two companies will bring to market next-generation inertial sensors, based on Qualtre’s bulk acoustic wave technology.

MARLBOROUGH, MA /BUSINESS WIRE/ -- Alps Electric Co. Ltd. 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 its 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 because 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 with the overall semiconductor industry. Industry experts predict the market for MEMS inertial sensors will exceed $4 billion 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 HARPSSTM process, which is a key technology to enable cost-effective multiple sensor integration.

"We look forward to working more closely with Qualtre to develop industry-leading sensors." said Yasuo Sasao, Director of Alps Electric' Components Business. "MEMS sensors are an important business segment within our component business, and this partnership with Qualtre will be an important part of our business strategy. Alps is a large, global company, with the proven ability to take innovative technologies like this and deliver it to customers at competitive prices and with high quality."

"Alps Electric has been a valuable strategic partner of ours for some time" explained Edgar Masri, CEO of Qualtre. "They have a great MEMS team and the manufacturing expertise necessary to drive cost reductions for volume production. Combined with our world-class MEMS engineering team, we will offer customers the optimal solution for their next-generation design needs."

About Alps Electric
Alps Electric Co. Ltd. is a leading global manufacturer of high-quality electronic components for mobile devices, home electric, vehicles, and industrial equipment. With the philosophy of "Perfecting the Art of Electric," Alps Electric supplies over 40,000 different components to about 2,000 companies all over the world.

About Qualtre
Founded in 2008, Qualtre Inc. is a venture-backed company commercializing the next generation of solid-state silicon MEMS motion sensor solutions for consumer, automotive, and industrial applications. Qualtre's innovation addresses the real challenges of multiple applications by combining the performance advantages of the BAW sensor design and the cost and size scalability of the HARPSS process to deliver the best value in inertial sensors. The company is headquartered in Marlborough, MA.

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