Acording to analysts, the competition is fierce among all the MEMS makers that are trying to get a toe-hold in the expanding market for interial navigation and such--from smartphones to tablets to PCs to cameras to wearables to almost anything mobile. To keep the market from degrading into a cost-only choice for OEMs, the MEMS makers have got to differentiate themselves by offering a whole solution. If the only way you can get a whole solution is by doing the software yourself, or getting it built-in to an Invensense part, then Invensense won't have to cut their margins razor thin to compete with all the me-toos--expecially in China. That's my take.
Hillcresst --the motion software and sensor fusion company--released a short statement mentioning M&A which just makes you think:
Statement from Dan Simpkins, CEO and founder of Hillcrest Labs
"Embedded sensors are a growing part of the products we use every day, from smartphones and tablets, to fitness bands and TV remote controls," said Dan Simpkins, CEO and founder of Hillcrest Labs. "But, to make these sensors interoperate and work effectively requires complex software."
"As recent M&A activity suggests, interest has never been higher in the core technology required to manage sensors and process sensor data, and we've never been more excited about the opportunity ahead of us at Hillcrest Labs. With deployments in the 10's of millions of devices, and a worldwide intellectual property portfolio that includes approximately 120 granted out of 250 filed patents, Hillcrest Labs remains the leading global supplier of technology solutions for sensor-enabled devices."
IHS's Jeremie Bouchard is either clairvoyant, had advance information or is just a %$#& smart analyst, because all his April predictions about motiion and sensor fusion software companies being acquired are coming true. Hillcrest is the only remaining independent motiion and sensor fusion software company, now that Invensene intends to acaquire Movea, and Audience recently announced its acquiring Sensor Platforms. Here's what Audience said: "Audience, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADNC), the leader in advanced voice and audio processing, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Sensor Platforms, subject to customary closing conditions, for consideration consisting of $41 million of cash. Sensor Platforms develops software and algorithms that interpret sensor data to enable broad context awareness on smartphones, wearables and other consumer devices. Audience believes the combination of Sensor Platforms' technology with its industry leading Advanced Voice and Multisensory Processing places the combined company in a unique position to deliver compelling solutions based on the fusion of voice and motion. Joining these technologies will help transform the way consumers engage with devices, by enabling seamless natural user experiences, always-on sensor fusion, and context-aware services." Check out their whole statement.