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InvenSense Claims First Integrated Dual-Axis Gyroscopes for Consumer Products

November 30, 2006

Company targets sub-$1 per axis for next-generation inertial measurement units (IMUs) to enable new applications.


SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-MEMS gyroscopes are on their way to becoming pervasive in handheld consumer electronics over the next 3 years ranging from mobile handsets, laptops and digital cameras, to game controllers, MP3 players, television remotes and PC mice, says InvenSense, provider of integrated motion sensing solutions for mobile applications.

The total market size for gyroscopes by 2010 will skyrocket to over 2 billion units. The recent use of motion sensing controllers in Sony's Playstation 3 and Nintendo's Wii game consoles and the development of more intuitive user navigation systems in home entertainment systems serve as a precursor for universal motion sensing applications in a wide range of consumer products.

"Integrated MEMS gyroscopes have the potential to increasingly penetrate handheld products in the coming years because of their cost effectiveness, versatility, accuracy and small form factor," said Peter Adrian, senior analyst at Frost & Sullivan, a Foster City, Calif.-based market research firm. "These applications will streamline and enhance our interactions with mobile consumer devices by using hand motion to navigate and access information -- from key expanding applications such as PDAs and other handheld devices to future handsets that offer location-based services and gesture-based commands."

"The market demand for more intuitive and user-friendly interfaces has been around for many years, but actual implementation has been hampered by the lack of small form factor, cost-effective, reliable, and high-performance gyroscopes," stated Steven Nasiri, CEO, founder, and co-inventor of InvenSense's gyroscope. "With the availability of the IDG family, many of these applications can now be realized for devices such as mobile phones that can bring to market increased intelligence and feature-rich motion sensing capabilities such as menu navigation, gaming and image stabilization."

Although many MEMS companies have been working on the development of gyroscopes, InvenSense says it is the only company shipping in high volume to the consumer market. InvenSense reports that its family of integrated dual-axis gyroscopes (IDGs) is currently being manufactured in high volume and is being shipped to a number of Japanese, Taiwanese, and American original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). InvenSense's gyroscopes have been designed into a number of high-volume consumer applications, ranging from digital still cameras (DSCs) to 3-D remote controllers.

InvenSense is leveraging its micro electromechanical systems (MEMS) design and fabrication technology, protected by more than 12 patents, to produce a whole new generation of MEMS-based products utilizing cost effective wafer-scale integration and packaging. These advances have resulted in lower production costs to achieve a very low-cost single chip solution comprised of two gyroscopes (X-axis and Y-axis) with integrated electronics, supporting the high volume, low price and small size requirements of consumer products.

InvenSense says its technology and products are part of a roadmap that will ultimately result in a single-chip inertial measurement unit (IMU) during 2007 that will enable next generation, feature-rich, consumer electronics with advanced motion sensing capabilities. By achieving sub-one dollar per axis for the IMU, InvenSense will provide a compelling and appealing price point for many consumer products making it an integral element within a host of new motion sensing applications.

"We are seeing a vast market opportunity for low-cost, single-chip MEMS gyroscopes from our IDG family portfolio," stated Dan Goehl, Director of Sales for InvenSense. "Our solutions have already been adopted by Sanyo for image stabilization in their current and future digital cameras. These solutions will also be used by a number of other major Japanese digital camera makers and by other OEM companies in other application areas. We are already producing at maximum capacity and expect to have shipped several million units by early 2007."

InvenSense, which has transferred its technology to a high volume MEMS foundry, is capable of producing thousands of gyroscope sensors on a single 6" wafer with integrated compensating electronics capable of addressing mass market consumer demands. InvenSense's gyroscopes are manufactured using a bulk silicon micromachining process, which offers several key advantages in sensitivity and performance while ensuring consistent, reliable and higher yielding devices. This methodology eliminates the need for custom processes, meaning many commercially available foundries can manufacture the devices easily and inexpensively.

About InvenSense
InvenSense is the leading provider of motion sensing solutions for mobile applications, including the smallest dual-axis gyroscope for cameraphone use. The company's motion sensing technology addresses emerging mass-market applications such as image stabilization, mobile navigation, location-based services and smart user interfaces that use hand motion and gesture-based commands. InvenSense's corporate offices are located in Santa Clara, Calif.


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