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Innovation on the move

The A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics and Japan’s Shikino High-Tech Co., Ltd have united to develop improved technologies for motion sensing

Motion sensing is fast becoming a ‘must-have’ function in consumer electronics today. For instance, motion-sensing capability is incorporated into digital cameras and camcorders, enabling image stabilization and augmentation with information such as where a shot was taken and the direction that the camera was pointing. In game consoles and smartphones, motion is used to control game play and to enable user interface functionality.

Gyro sensors, also known as gyroscopes, are the motion-sensing devices that enable such functionality by sensing changes in angular velocity. In addition to their use in consumer electronics, gyro sensors can be integrated with portable medical devices and sports equipment, allowing patients to be monitored remotely by medical staff and athletes’ motion to be tracked for training purposes.

Joining efforts with a Japanese camera systems and image-processing module developer, Shikino High-Tech Co., Ltd, the A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics (IME) has signed a research agreement to pioneer an energy-efficient, high-performance application-specific integrated circuit intellectual property (ASIC IP) block for a gyro sensor to be installed in commercial handheld devices. Yuaki Osada, president of Shikino High-Tech, believes that the IME is an excellent choice of collaborative partner for the project due to the institute’s proven and outstanding capabilities, particularly in the area of analog technology development.

“It is a valuable opportunity for Shikino High-Tech to work with the IME in this advanced technology project,” says Osada. The agreement marks the first formal collaboration in Singapore for Shikino High-Tech, which boasts more than 25 years of R&D experience in Japan and an impressive record of technological inventions and patents. Osada is confident in the success of this initial research project and anticipates further exciting collaborations with the IME in the future.

The IME, founded in 1991, is a recognized leader in the development of commercial technologies and has particular strengths the areas of microelectronics and semiconductors. Part of the institute’s core mission is to provide support to industry. Its multidisciplinary approach to research, expertise in technology transfer and state-of-the-art facilities have led to the establishment of collaborations with more than 50 multinational firms and across every sector of the electronics industry.

Dim-Lee Kwong, executive director of the IME, is enthusiastic about the venture with Shikino High-Tech. Noting the IME’s extensive research experience with Japanese companies, he is confident that the partnership will benefit both Shikino High-Tech and A*STAR. “This new collaboration will no doubt provide a strategic platform for the IME’s researchers to leverage existing capabilities in the development of innovative gyro sensor technologies.”

This new strategic partnership between the IME and Shikino High-Tech is a further testament to Singapore’s position as a preferred country for Japanese companies to invest and expand in. In recent years, the number of collaborations formed between local establishments and Japanese companies has been growing steadily. According to the 2012 Singapore Business Formation Statistics Report, Japan ranks among the top investors in the Republic for that year.

About the Institute of Microelectronics

The Institute of Microelectronics (IME) is a research institute of the Science and Engineering Research Council of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). Positioned to bridge the R&D between academia and industry, the IME’s mission is to add value to Singapore’s semiconductor industry by developing strategic competencies, innovative technologies and intellectual property; enabling enterprises to be technologically competitive; and cultivating a technology talent pool to inject new knowledge to the industry. Its key research areas are in integrated circuits design, advanced packaging, bioelectronics and medical devices, MEMS, nanoelectronics, and photonics.

A*STAR Research | Research asia research news
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