With Microchip's recent acquisitions the company has already moved into
multi-die components and sensors, bringing the possibility of ultra
compact, ultra low power, wireless sensor nodes from Microchip closer.
are already interacting with all sorts of sensors. We make some
on-chip; temperature sensors and voltage sensors," said Sanghi. In 2012
Microchip acquired Ident Technology AG (Gilching, Germany), a company
developing 3-D gesture recognition technology based on electric field
This resulted in November 2012 in the MGC3130 chip.
This $2 chip generates an electrical field in the 70-kHz to 130-kHz
frequency range that extends out from the chip about 15 centimeters.
That field is affected by the presence of almost anything in the field
and the changes are sensed using thin PCB trace electrodes. The chip
uses just 150 microwatts in an always-on, wake-on-motion mode. It burns
90 milliwatts at full throttle.
Sanghi agreed that the sensors
Microchip currently works with are the types of sensors that are
compatible with mainstream IC manufacturing processes. "We don't have
the MEMS technology in house today," he said.
Does that mean MEMS
technology and multi-die packaging is on the horizon from Microchip?
Sanghi brings the conversation back to earth with a financial bump.
"It's the sort of thing we think about for acquisition strategy. But
MEMS has become a commodity. There's not necessarily any money to be
made there," he said.
Will the acquisition run that Microchip has been on for several years--at an accelerated pace the past two years--continue? Many of the acquisitions have been small and for undisclosed
amounts of money. The largest was SMSC for about $750 million in May
2012. Sanghi makes it clear the interest in acquisitions is still there
but there is no set schedule. "We're constantly looking for deals
because deals are hard to make," he said.
Related links and articles:
DESIGN West: Microchip boosts connectivity for embedded
Microchip closes SMSC deal, discusses integration plans
Microchip Technology acquires SMSC
Microchip buys wireless module maker