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TDK to acquire Chirp Microsystems bolstering ultrasonic sensing solutions to further grow its sensor business

  • TDK has signed an agreement to acquire Chirp Microsystems, Inc., a developer of extremely low power, ultrasonic 3D-sensing solutions
  • Builds upon TDK’s existing investment in fingerprint sensors and positions TDK as the leader in ultrasonic MEMS sensors and solutions.

January 11, 2018

TDK Corporation (TSE:6762, President and CEO: Shigenao Ishiguro, hereinafter “TDK”) announced that it has reached an agreement with Chirp Microsystems, Inc. (hereinafter “Chirp”), a pioneer in low-power ultrasonic sensing, to which TDK will make Chirp a wholly-owned subsidiary.

Chirp develops ultrasonic sensing that expands the ways in which users can interact with information and communication technology (ICT) devices, with disruptive capabilities in industrial & energy and automotive markets as well.

Chirp's sensor ultrasonic 3D-sensing solutions are used for Virtual Reality devices, smart phones, smart homes, and industrial automation markets. They utilize an array of small ultrasound transducers to send out a pulse of soundwaves. Chirp's Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensor technology combines piezoelectric micromachined ultrasonic transducers (PMUTs) with proprietary ultra-low-power, mixed-signal integrated circuit technology that enables highly accurate Time-of-Flight calculations. By calculating the ToF the technology is able to determine the position of an object relative to reference points/ and then trigger a programmed behavior, such as controller tracking relative to a HMD and other devices in a VR system, or short range distance measurements in mobile and drone applications. Chirp's ultrasonic technology leverages proprietary Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensor in a System in Package (SiP) that combines a MEMS ultrasound transducer with a power-efficient digital signal processor (DSP) on a custom low-power mixed-signal CMOS ASIC.

“TDK is committed to become a leader in sensor solutions, as a key enabler in the growth of a majority of next generation embedded systems being deployed in the automotive, mobile, health-care and industrial industries. Our vision is to be the leading provider of motion, sound, environmental (pressure, temperature and humidity), ultrasonic sensors for the Internet of Things era,” said Noboru Saito, Senior Vice President, TDK and CEO of Sensor Systems Business Company. “Chirp Microsystems’ unique and high-value-added 3-D sensing technologies support this vision by building upon our existing investment in ultrasonic fingerprint sensors, and positions TDK as the leader in ultrasonic MEMS technology.”

TDK Corporation and its group companies EPCOS, InvenSense, and TDK-Micronas are showcasing innovative sensor solutions in Booth 30325, South Hall 3 of the Las Vegas Convention Center at CES® 2018, January 9-12, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.


Glossary

 
  • MEMS: Micro Electrical Mechanical Systems
  • PMUT: Piezoelectric Micromachined Ultrasonic Transducers
  • ToF: Time-of-Flight
 

About TDK Corporation

TDK Corporation is a leading electronics company based in Tokyo, Japan. It was established in 1935 to commercialize ferrite, a key material in electronic and magnetic products. TDK's portfolio includes passive components, such as ceramic, aluminum electrolytic and film capacitors, ferrites and inductors, high-frequency products, and piezo and protection components, as well as sensors and sensor systems and power supplies. These products are marketed under the product brands TDK, EPCOS, InvenSense, Micronas, Tronics and TDK-Lambda. TDK's further main product groups include magnetic application products, energy devices, and flash memory application devices. TDK focuses on demanding markets in the areas of information and communication technology and automotive, industrial and consumer electronics. The company has a network of design and manufacturing locations and sales offices in Asia, Europe, and in North and South America. In fiscal 2017, TDK posted total sales of USD 10.5 billion and employed about 100,000 people worldwide.

About Chirp Microsystems

Chirp Microsystems mission is to bring ultrasonic sensing to everyday products. Founded in 2013 based on pioneering research performed at the University of California, Chirp’s piezoelectric MEMS ultrasonic transducers offer long range and low power sensing capabilities in a micro-scale package, enabling products to accurately perceive absolute position in the three-dimensional world in which we live. Combined with Chirp’s embedded software library, these sensors advance user experiences with VR/AR, mobile, wearables, robotics, drones and occupancy detection. For more information, please visit: http://www.chirpmicro.com.

Contacts for regional media

Region Contact Phone Mail
Global Mr. Yoichi OSUGA TDK Corporation
Tokyo, Japan
+813 6778-1055 pr@jp.tdk.com

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