Alps Electric (Headquarters: Ota-ku, Tokyo; President: Toshihiro Kuriyama) in May 2013 made an investment in Qualtré, Inc. (Headquarters: Massachusetts, U.S.A.; CEO: Edgar Masri). Alps Electric and Qualtré already carry out joint development of inertial sensors. The investment reinforces the existing partnership and allows for further strengthening of Alps Electric’s sensor business.
Alps Electric and Qualtré have engaged in joint development of inertial sensors, used to detect various kinds of motion, since 2008. The US$3 million strategic investment by Alps Electric is intended to facilitate Qualtré’s development and sales of these sensors and to further enhance the range of sensor products supplied by Alps Electric in this core business segment under the SENSORING™ slogan.
Qualtré is developing next-generation MEMS inertial sensor technology for the consumer, automotive and industrial markets. In the partnership with Alps Electric, the company is in charge of the sensor devices and IC design. Qualtré applies bulk acoustic wave (BAW) MEMS sensor technology to develop technology employing high frequencies of several megahertz to achieve excellent impact characteristics with outstanding immunity to extraneous noise, as well as significantly higher performance/cost ratio than its competitors’ products.
Alps Electric currently supplies a wide range of sensor products to the automotive, consumer, industrial and healthcare markets. The company’s compact and high-precision magnetic sensors, in particular, are employed in various digital devices.
The commercialization of new products fusing Qualtré’s technology and Alps Electric’s excellent packaging technology will allow the addition of inertial sensors, such as gyroscopes and acceleration sensors, to the product lineup and provide further impetus for development activities. The partnership will enable Alps Electric to continue addressing diverse needs for features like pedestrian navigation, location-aware services and camera optical image stabilization in digital equipment, as typified by smartphones.