Let’s make MEMS suppliers rich, says Huawei

Let’s make MEMS suppliers rich, says Huawei

Business news |
By eeNews Europe

In return Huawei would make its MEMS suppliers rich, he said.

Speaking at the European MEMS Summit, organized by industry association SEMI Sept. 17 and 18 in Milan, Italy, Ding responded to talks by executives from European MEMS manufacturers Tronics Microsystems and X-Fab Silicon Foundries who portrayed an industry still snagged on the familiar old hook of one product, one package one process.

Pascal Langlois, CEO of Tronics, said it takes 1 to 3 years to develop a MEMS process and it can take between one year and two to develop a product on top of that new process. Peter Merz, MEMS business unit manager at X-Fab, also showed how complex the MEMS design process could be and said it could take from five to ten years to go from idea to volume production.

Huawei’s Ding, speaking from the floor of the summit, said: "I want 500, 5,000 different types of sensors in the next five years. I need prototyping in six months, volume in 18 months."

When Ding’s took the podium to address the meeting he emphasized wearable equipment and the Internet of Things as driver markets for MEMS sensors although building on the steady demand for smartphones. "Huawei sells 100 million phones each year, there are 13 sensors in each. We’re buying $1 billion of sensors each year. I cannot wait."

He told the audience it had to think differently and make things happen in six months not in 5 to 10 years. "The opportunity in hardware in huge. We need to work together. We need to make you guys rich."

Ding spoke about the wearable equipment as the next big opportunity but one that needed to bridge functionality, fashion and communications. "The next computing platform is my wrist," he said drawing an analogy between computing and telling the time. What started as an expensive item with its own building: the clock tower, moved to the home, into the pocket and eventually on the wrist. This is the same progress as made by computing; starting mainframes, moving into the home with desktops then notebook computers and next wrist-born computers, Ding said.

Next: Wearables unit numbers

The base case for wearable equipment unit shipments through 2020. Source: IDC and Morgan Stanley Research.

Ding said that by 2017 the cumulative market for wearable equipment would be 495 million units and running at 248 million units per year. "The hockey stick is today. Don’t wait; leap forward. Run as fast as you can," he concluded his talk by saying.

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