SAN FRANCISCO — Privately held MEMS sensor vendor mCube announced the acquisition of 3D motion tracking technology company Xsens from ON Semiconductor for about $26 million.
Combining the two companies will enable mCube to create new markets for motion sensing and tracking solution, especially in the medical devices and sports science motion tracking, said Ben Lee, mCube's CEO, in an interview with EE Times.
MCube's claim to fame is that it makes the world's smallest and lowest power inertial sensor, a 3-axis accelerometer that in a 1.1×1.3 mm CSP and a profile of just 0.74mm. By combining that with Xsens' suite of technologies for converting motion sensor measurements into application data, Lee believes the combined company can deliver not only the sensor solution but a complete solution to bring motion sensing to market for many customers.
The technology can be particularly appealing for sports applications, allowing coaches and trainers to track the performance of a player returning from injury, for example, Lee said.
"We make the technology disappear into the clothing," Lee said. "When that happens, you could see athletes wearing them during games" to provide data on mobility and performance, he said.
The MC3672 from mCube (shown on the right), measures just 1.1mm by 1.3mm by 0.74mm, about 75 percent smaller than a competitor in a 2mm by 2mm by 1mm package, according to the company.
"The potential for this in sports, entertainment and medical, it's really limitless," Lee said.
On Thursday (Nov. 9), mCube's MC3672 3-axis accelerometer was named an honoree by the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018 Innovation Awards.
Under the terms of the deal, Xsens will retain its brand name and will continue to operate from its current base in Enschede, the Netherlands as a stand-alone business unit of mCube, the companies said. The two companies will jointly develop new prodts, they said, and coordinate sales and marketing activities.
Xsens was originally acquired in 2014 by Fairchild Semiconductor, which was later acquired by ON Semiconductor.
— Dylan McGrath is the editor-in-chief of EE Times.