STMicroelectronics announced a new strategic plan in which it will exit its mobile platform and wireless semiconductor alliance, ST-Ericsson, and focus on two product-segment organizations – Sense & Power and Automotive Products, and Embedded Processing Solutions.
Sense & Power and Automotive includes MEMS (micro-electromechanical systems) and other sensors, power discrete and advanced analog products, and automotive products from powertrain to safety, and from body to infotainment.
The Embedded Processing Solutions product segment includes microcontrollers, imaging products, digital consumer products, application processors, and digital ASICs.
STMicro president and CEO Carlo Bozotti said the plan resulted from a strategic review started more than a year ago as the company saw major changes in the dynamics of the wireless market. The new plan, he said, will make ST more focused, leaner, and better positioned to deliver value to customers and shareholders.
ST entered the market for automotive MEMS accelerometers and gyroscopes in order to leverage its expertise in low power technology and its manufacturing capacity. The firm can produce more than two million devices per-day. It targets applications including navigation and anti-theft, the latter with low-g devices that can detect a change in inclination when a car is towed away. Brazil anticipates a government mandate for a GPS system that can track stolen vehicles, and program in South Korea that tracks driving style also requires a low-g accelerometer.
ST notes that MEMS applications for security, anti-theft/car alarm systems, and electronic suspension were not present as recently as five or six years ago. MEMS accelerometers and gyroscopes are also used in sophisticated vision systems, such as for a bird’s eye view around the car.
“MEMS technology is allowing us to continually develop new sensors that can measure physical parameters such as linear or angular motion, pressure, or magnetic fields at ever-decreasing cost and increasing accuracy,” says Benedetto Vigna, General Manager of ST’s MEMS, Sensors and High-Performance Analog Division.