Bosch buys Akustica, gains MEMS consumer inroads

August 21, 2009: In what seems to be a bid to expand beyond its auto position into an increasingly crowded (and promising) consumer sphere, Robert Bosch’s US division is acquiring MEMS microphone maker Akustica for an undisclosed amount.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, though the companies said all Akustica employees (totaling 36 in Pittsburgh, PA) will be folded into Bosch’s Sensortec unit, but operate as an independent subsidiary.

Akustica’s technology centers on digital and analog microelectromechanical microphones featuring CMOS technology, which allows integration of transducer elements and associated ICs on a single silicon chip. This complements Bosch’s MEMS activities and also its “growing” semiconductor business, noted Stefan Kampmann, EVP of Bosch Automotive Electronics, in a statement.

The two firms cite Lux Research statistics touting the promise of the MEMS microphones sector: 30% CAGR, and by 2012 $2.5B sales and 1B unit shipments, much of this coming from inertial sensors and microphones.

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