MEMS platforms are way to go, says Bosch's Finkbeiner

October 05, 2015 // By Peter Clarke
In the two years since we last interviewed Stefan Finkbeiner, CEO of Bosch Sensortec, the company has taken over from STMicroelectronics as the leading global supplier of MEMS components. Here he explains how the company is going conquer the Internet of Things.

Part of Bosch Sensortec's success has come from an approach that has leveraged the company's position in automotive to address smartphone applications. And Finkbeiner told eeNews Europe that a multi-use platform approach with MEMS sensors made application-specific through software will be one way to address the numerous vertical markets for the Internet of Things.

"We have a good balance. Being in both markets is important. That way you can often develop a common platform and then two separate products," said Finkbeiner who we met at the European MEMS Summit, organized by SEMI and held in Milan, Sept. 17 and 18.

Asked whether Bosch Sensortec needed to add novel technologies and sensor types to its current position in inertial sensors Finkbeiner said: "We have a lot of growth with the current technology into IoT," he answered. "Today it is use cases, not technology, that is driving business."

Bosch Sensortec has access to corporate research performed by parent company Robert Bosch GmbH. They are looking into new measurement technologies, optical MEMS, microfluidics and so on, Finkbeiner said.

"But choosing the right time to deploy such technologies is key. If you already have an existing technology, the new technology has to have a significant advantage over the existing one. And you also have to look at the performance of the complete sensor, which could include local software and the impact of packaging. Often a change in software or in packaging can produce a more significant benefit than overthrowing the base technology," he said.

Nonetheless Bosch Sensortec is introducing gas and chemical sensors, humidity sensors for an environmental cluster on smartphones. But mainly Bosch Sensortec is looking to tweak what it has got to address a panorama of new market opportunities. "We are looking to diversify out of automotive and smartphones into IoT and industry 4.0"

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