How CMOSIS buy beefed up AMS

April 14, 2016 // By Peter Clarke
Lou Hermans
Lou Hermans, senior director of marketing for the CMOS image sensor business line at AMS (shown above) and Thomas Riener, executive vice president marketing and strategy for AMS, met with EE Times Europe to discuss the synergy of the acquisition of CMOSIS by AMS.

Riener's first point was that the acquisition of CMOSIS and its conversion into the CMOS image sensor business line at AMS backs up a goal of becoming a sensor solutions company by broadening AMS' product range into image sensors. It also gets AMS closer to its goal of more than a billion euros in annual sales, he added.

And it comes at a time when AMS can digest such an acquisition. AMS enjoyed €640 million (about $725 million) in annual sales in 2015; a 36 percent annual increase achieved mostly through organic growth, he said. The acquisition of CMOSIS NV, with about 120 staff, occurred in November 2015. CMOSIS had €60 million of sales in 2015 (about $70 million) with an expectation of growth in 2016 and so promises to add significantly to AMS' sales in 2016.

Thomas Riener
Thomas Riener, EVP at AMS.

The acquisition also helps AMS balance its market diversity, Riener said. AMS has about 70 percent of its sales in the fast-moving consumer market and 30 percent going to the automotive, industrial and medical markets where volumes are unit lower but averaging selling prices (ASPs) are higher and easier to maintain. Meanwhile CMOSIS is more exposed to the high-end professional markets and industrial machine vision.

As well as helping AMS to weather difficult consumer and smartphone markets, CMOSIS can benefit from the AMS sales organization to help it get into new markets – such as automotive and medical – which require lengthy sales and qualification periods, said Riener At the same time AMS can help repurpose CMOSIS technology for consumer applications, he added.

AMS is not one of those companies that says it is necessary to move up the value chain to conduct profitable sensor business (see MEMS sector faces a fight to provide value and Not enough money in MEMS, own the data, says InvenSense CEO ).

"We contributed to an IoT work group with McKinsey and