MEMS Gyroscope Patent Investigation by Yole Developpement


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MEMS Gyroscope Patent Investigation report

MEMS gyroscopes are currently a very hot business. Investigating the patent situation is essential to understanding the present business climate and anticipating future developments.

The MEMS gyroscope patent landscape is heating up!
The gyroscope market is driven by mobile applications, where until recently only two players, STMicroelectronics (ST) and InvenSense, were competing. Now, many companies are present. The first patent disputes to develop over the last few years (linked to Wacoh’s patents) or that are currently occurring (ST vs. InvenSense) signal the beginning of a fight for gyro and inertial combo market ownership.
This report represents a link to the technical trends Yole Développement has observed in the industry. Comparisons and matching between existing product process flows (reconstituted from teardowns) and related patents are provided. In particular, a case study on InvenSense’s MPU-9150 9-axis sensor is included.
As illustrated by the aforementioned disputes, (which are detailed in this report), IP is critical in this area; thus, the link between IP and market evolution is critical as well. One of this report’s most important findings is that the focus has shifted to the software side, where considerable value can be created. Indeed, an increasing number of companies with different value chain positions are developing functionalities based on MEMS gyroscopes, along with related IP.

Understanding the key players’ patent portfolios
About 200 players are involved in MEMS gyroscope technologies, but the top 10 represent 63% of the patents filed!
Panasonic and Murata lead the way. Both were early players in the industry, with piezo/ceramicstyle gyroscopes.
Other players such as Analog Devices, Robert Bosch, ST and InvenSense developed their technologies based on silicon substrates and the capacitive detection principle. It’s important to note that these players’ MEMS portfolios are generally much larger than what’s included in this report, since many of their patents are generic publications which can apply to many types of MEMS components, and not specifically to gyros.

More information on that report at

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MEMS Gyroscope Patent Investigation by Yole Developpement

  1. 1. © 2013Copyrights © Yole Développement SA. All rights reserved.MEMS GyroscopePatent InvestigationReport SampleDowcorningHillcrest LabsDomintechGranted17 (29%)Pending39 (66%)Lapsed2 (3%)Unavailable1 (2%)InvenSense
  2. 2. © 2013 • 2Copyrights © Yole Développement SA. All rights reserved.Table of Contents• Introduction• Context and Frame of the Survey• Definitions & Glossary• Objective and Methodology• Executive Summary 18• 1. Status of MEMS gyroscopes: market and technology trends 42– Market trends– Competitive landscape– Gyroscope design and detection principle– Technical trends in front-end and assembly– Software trends: functionalities based on gyroscopes• 2. MEMS Gyroscope Patent Landscape 97– Evolution of MEMS Gyro Patent Publication Time-line– Geographical distribution of patents filing– Legal status of patent filings– Top 10 IPC Classes– Top 15 patent applicants– Top 10 academic assignees– Assignee collaboration network– Top 10 inventors and last inventors– Inventor / Assignees collaboration network and assignee citations network– Summary of Top 15 patent assignees patent portfolio
  3. 3. © 2013 • 3Copyrights © Yole Développement SA. All rights reserved.Table of Contents• 3. Segmentation and patent ranking 117– Technology segmentation and top patent assignees for each segment– Patent ranking• 4. MEMS gyroscope patent portfolio analysis of business leaders 131– STMicroelectonics• Patent filling evolution / Geographical analysis / Top inventors / Legal status / Citation analysis / Top patents– InvenSense• Patent filling evolution / Geographical analysis / Top inventors / Legal status / Citation analysis / Top patents– Bosch• Patent filling evolution / Geographical analysis / Top inventors / Legal status / Citation analysis / Top patents• 5. Analysis: link between IP, technical trends and market trends 157– Link between IP and market evolution– Link between IP and reverse engineering of products currently in the market• 6. Analysis of key patents 180– MEMS design & process - Analysis of 14 key Patents– Circuit & IC design – Analysis of 6 key patents– Application / Software – Analysis of 10 key patents• Conclusion 214• Appendix – Presentation of Yole Developpement
  4. 4. © 2013 • 4Copyrights © Yole Développement SA. All rights reserved.What does this report include ?What it does not…?• Context– After several years of specific analysis for customers, YOLE Développement started last year to publish report on the analysis ofthe technical contents of patents– This new IP report is focused on the MEMS gyroscope technologies: from MEMS design & process to IC design to applications– YOLE has developed a specific methodology in order to make such analysis, mixing YOLE technical and business knowledge andclassical access to patent database• It includes…– This IP report provide an overview of « who is owning what » in terms of patents for MEMS gyroscope sensors and gyro-basedapplications, plus a dedicated focus on top players which are most active in this area– The main report objectives are• To present the industrial and business status of MEMS gyroscopes today• To define and provide a database of all the relevant patents with technological segmentation• To identify the key patents and the owner of such patents• To analyze the link between patents, technology implementation and business status• It does not include…– Juridical analysis of patent portfolio– Deep link analysis (legal, juridical…) between assignees• To summarize, our work in the frame of the new kind of reports is to analyze key patents to identify structuring conceptsfrom a technological or an industrial point of view, leading to business and strategic conclusions
  5. 5. © 2013 • 5Copyrights © Yole Développement SA. All rights reserved.Yole’s standardreports• Market analysis• Technology analysisA new type of reports providing a clear linkbetween IP situation and market evolutions• More than a report describing a state of the art of an IP situation, this report provides a missinglink between patented technological solutions and market, technological and business trends– YOLE has developed a unique methodology in order to define a technical segmentation of patent landscape, define which patentsare the most innovative, either to prepare the future or to be used already in production– By mixing its technical knowledge, business understanding and patent search, Yole is able to provide unique analysis and addedvalue you will find in this report– In depth technological analysis of patents provided by this report will lead to the understanding of strategic decisions andpositioning of key players within the value chainMEMS Gyroscope Technologicalevolutions& Market evolutionsMEMS GyroscopeIP landscapeYole’s new IP report• Relevant patents analysis• Technological segmentation• Detailed architecture to be implemented• Key patent identification• Links with the patents and availableproducts
  6. 6. © 2013 • 6Copyrights © Yole Développement SA. All rights reserved.Introduction• This study presents the patent landscape about MEMS gyroscopes– The patent landscape is analyzed with a particular focus on the design, detection principles and functionalities– A ranking of the top patents is established and the link to market and technology developments is analyzed– Several key patents were selected based on the particular technological issues related to MEMS gyroscopedevelopments, at the front-end side, electronics or software• Selection of the patents has been done both automatically and manually– We have used search equations which are detailed in the next slides– To be selected, the association of MEMS and gyro / angular rate sensor /… must be established– Many other patents exist with gyroscopes but without reference to MEMS technologies (in particular for some playersor when it comes to applications). But it could not be included in the analysis because the scope would be too large(>40 000 patent families!)– To complete this automated selection, it has been decided to add some patents manually:• For some important device makers that did not appear: Panasonic, Wacoh…• For some important companies involved in software: Movea, Hillcrest Labs, Qualcomm…– For all those patents: the selection between relevant / related / non relevant patents has been done manually
  7. 7. © 2013 • 7Copyrights © Yole Développement SA. All rights reserved.MEMS gyro designRaw wafers“Generic”MEMSdesignblocksSpecific MEMSgyro design /detectionprincipleGyro ASIC design“Generic”MEMS ICblocksSpecific MEMSgyro IC designMEMS Front-endmanufacturing“Generic”MEMSprocessesSpecific MEMSgyroprocessesWafer testASIC Front-endmanufacturingStandard ASIC processesFront-endassemblyDicingDicingBack-EndAssemblyFinal testPackagedgyroscopesApplicationsSoftware /Data fusionApplicationsOther sensorsDataRF communicationStorage...SCOPE ofthe reportContext and Frame of the SurveyChoice to focus on the 3 most critical / hottest areas: Gyrodesign & process / Gyro IC & Software
  8. 8. © 2013 • 8Copyrights © Yole Développement SA. All rights reserved.• Objective– The aim of this study is to provide a patent survey in the field of MEMS gyroscopes: patent landscape and key patents• Topics of the research– MEMS gyroscope design & process– MEMS gyroscope IC– Applications for which the use of gyroscope is critical• Database– The data was extract from the Questel IP portal (FamPat). The FamPat database covers more than 60 million patent documents (90+ offices)grouped in invention-based families• Search strategy– Step 1 – Global search• Search equation: ((MEMS OR MICRO_ELECTRO_MECHANICAL OR MICRO_MECHANICAL OR MICRO_MACHIN+) AND (GYRO+ OR CORIOLIS OR ANGULAR VELOCIT+ ORYAW_RATE SENSOR? OR ((SEISMIC OR PROOF OR SUSPENDED OR MOVABLE) 0W MASS+) OR ((ROTARY OR ROTATION+ OR TURNING OR ANGULAR) 1D(ACCELERATION? OR SPEED OR INERTIAL+ OR SENSOR? OR SENSING OR RATE? OR OSCILLATOR+ OR MOTION? OR DETECTION?)) OR (VIBRAT+ 1D (BEAM? ORPLATE? OR SHELL? OR FORK?)) OR TUNING FORK?))/BI/CLMS AND (B81+ OR G01C+ OR G11B+ OR G01P+ OR H01+)/IC– Step 2 – Search by key player• Search equation: (Player)/PA.fld AND (((GYRO+)/BI OR ((ANGULAR VELOCIT+) 1D (SENSOR? OR SENSING OR DETECTION?))/BI OR ((ROTARY OR ROTATION+ ORTURNING OR YAW_RATE) 0W (SENSOR? OR SENSING OR DETECTION?))/BI) AND (B81+ OR G01C+ OR G11B+ OR G01P+)/IC) NOT Step 1– Notes:• ? replaces 0 or 1 character• + replaces 0 or n characters• nD searches adjacent termes, regardless of the order, being separated by a maximum of n words• nW searches adjacent terms in the order specified and being separated by a maximum of n words• /BI searches in the title and abstract• /CLMS searches in the claims• /IC searches in the International Classification Codes• /PA.fld searches in current assignees• Data analysis– The quantitative analysis of data was made using the Intellixir software.• Preliminary remark: for all the evolution charts, the data corresponding to the years 2011 and 2012 may not be complete since a significant number ofpatent applications filed during these years might not have been published yetObjectives and Search StrategyNumber of selected patent families related to MEMS gyroscopes: 2508(2061 relevant and 447 related) over a total of >4700 results
  9. 9. © 2013 • 9Copyrights © Yole Développement SA. All rights reserved.Methodology for Patent Screening,Classification and Analysis• The screening was performed for US, EP, WO, J translated English full text, GB, DE,FR, CN+TW+KR translated English full text using English + French + Germankeywords
  10. 10. © 2013 • 10Copyrights © Yole Développement SA. All rights reserved.Global MEMS gyro market2007 – 2018 market05001000150020002500300035002 007 2 008 2 009 2 010 2 011 2 012 2 013 2 014 2 015 2 016 2 017 2 018Market($M)MEMS Gyroscope - 2007 - 2018 market ($M)(standalone gyros + combos with gyros)Yole développement © Feb. 2013• Dominated in the past by automotive applications, but now by consumer– From $XXXM in 2007 to $XXB in 2018!– Significant took off in 2010 with mobile phone adoption
  11. 11. © 2013 • 11Copyrights © Yole Développement SA. All rights reserved.Evolution of MEMS Gyro Patent Publication Time-line• 2508 patents were filed from 1972 to 2012. 55% of patents were filed since 2003.• Note: The data corresponding to the years 2011 and 2012 may not be complete since a significant number of patent applicationsfiled during these years might not have been published yet.• The MEMS gyro market started in volume in the 90’ with automotive applications (ESC) and then in the 2000’ with consumerapplications (stabilization, gaming and then mobile)Patent filing trends for MEMS gyro technologies (relevant and related included)020406080100120140160180200220No.ofPatentFamiliesPriority yearsNote: Most patentsfiled in 2011 – 2012not published yet
  12. 12. © 2013 • 12Copyrights © Yole Développement SA. All rights reserved.2000’s: automotive market dominates,consumer emerges020406080100120140160180200220197219741976197819801982198419861988199019921994199619982000200220042006200820102012No.ofPatentFamiliesPriority yearsPatent filing trends for MEMS gyro technologies (relevant and related inclued)MarketstatusPatentstatusSignificantautomotive marketPanasonic, Bosch and Systron Donner dominate for AutomotiveJapanese players leading OIS market, InvenSense new successful player2004: big increase in patent activity linked to compactsilicon MEMS designs targeting consumer applications OIS dominate, gaming emerges in 2009Most designs on comb-drivestructure, silicon MEMScapacitive detectionContinuous activity for very specificconcepts targeting tactical and navigation-grade for high end marketApplications / Software: limited topointing function and somecompensations in sensor fusion
  13. 13. © 2013 • 13Copyrights © Yole Développement SA. All rights reserved.TOP-15 Leading Patent Applicants• About 200 players are involved in MEMS gyro technologies. The top 10 and the top 15 assignees respectively represents 63% and 70% of patents filedin MEMS gyro domain• Panasonic, Murata and Sony together account for 44%. Panasonic and Murata are historically strong players with piezo / ceramic MEMS gyroscopes.However Sony is a surprise since its market footprint is not very large (mostly piezo gyroscopes for DSC stabilization and gaming in the past)• The low level of ST Micro is a surprise. However we note that most ST patents are related to MEMS in general and are thus not counted here (notspecifically for gyroscopes)• Applications-focused companies are growing in this ranking: Qualcomm and MoveaTop 15 patent assignees for MEMS gyro patents (relevant and related included)4474721258942513157322641273027153791420479291171821165130 100 200 300 400 500 600PANASONIC (JP)MURATA (JP)SONY (JP)BOSCH (DE)HONEYWELL (US)SEIKO EPSON (JP)ADI (US)WACOH (JP)ST MICRO (FR/IT)CEA (FR)UNIV SHANGHAI (CN)QUALCOMM (US)DRAPER LABORATORY (US)INVENSENSE (US)MOVEA (FR)No. of Patent FamiliesAssigneeRelevantRelated
  14. 14. © 2013 • 14Copyrights © Yole Développement SA. All rights reserved.Detail between process flow and IP portfolioCase study: InvenSense MPU-9150 9-axis sensorAPPARATUS AND METHODOLOGY FORCALIBRATION OF A GYROSCOPE AND A COMPASSINCLUDED IN A HANDHELD DEVICE(US20110178707) – filed in 01/2011TEARDOWNPATENTPatent includedin the scope ofthis report
  15. 15. © 2013 • 15Copyrights © Yole Développement SA. All rights reserved.Assignee(s) InvenSense (US)Publication Number(representative member)US20100290769Segment / Rank Application / Top ranked patentCiting patent families 0Rating for family 6.19Oldest priority date of thefamily2009-05-18Legal statut Alive: US20100290769Title Optical image stabilization in a digital still camera or handsetWhat is claimed:-An optical image stabilization system for a camera module. The stabilizationsystem comprises a voice coil motor (VCM), at least one digital gyroscope forreceiving signals from the VCM, and an estimator based controller to processthe signals from the digital gyroscope and a reference comparator to output aloop error signal. The stabilization system further comprises hard coded logicfor receiving the error signal, and comparing the error signal to a referencesignal and providing a stabilized image based upon that comparison, whereinthe signal processing logic, digital gyroscope and estimator based controllerresides on the same chip.Key words: optical image stabilization (OIS) controllerContext: Handsets and digital still cameras have been challenges to try to improve their optical performance. Methodology requires more accurate optical imagestabilization as the cameras increase in the number of pixels per image. It is desirable to provide an OIS controller for a camera module that addresses all criteria relatedto improving their performance that is small in size, having increased optical image stabilization, being very robust and being low in cost.Advantages / Prev.:-A high bandwidth digital gyroscope is utilized to estimate the angular position sensor. This eliminates the need for aHall element and its associated circuitry that is typically utilized in OIS systems. This further reduces the size of thechip.-The control and drive electronics can be implemented primarily through signal processing logic.-Less phase delay due to a high bandwidth gyro and a unique control loop design.-The peak filter increases rejection gain to a frequency and also improves the stabilization for the low pass notch.-The peak filter design increases the gain at the frequency of interest through the use of the VCM and also selectivelychanging the spring constant of the VCM.-OIS system is lower in cost and small in size. Therefore it can be placed on a single chip.Weakness:Based on International preliminaryexamination report, the subject-matter of theinvention has been anticipated or suggestedbyUS2006251410 (Citicorp North America &Avago Technologies General IP, 2006-11-09)ApplicationTop ranked patent
  16. 16. © 2013 • 16Copyrights © Yole Développement SA. All rights reserved.More slides from the report…
  17. 17. © 2013 • 17Copyrights © Yole Développement SA. All rights reserved.Available MEMS ReportsTrends in MEMSManufacturing &PackagingMEMS Cosim+MEMS ManufacturingCost Simulation ToolFerro-ElectricThin FilmsMEMSMicrophonePermanent WaferBondingThin WaferHandlingInfrared DetectorMarket, Applicationsand TechnologyTrendsTechnology Trendsfor Inertials MEMSRF Filters, PAs,Antenna Switches &Tunability for CellularHandsetsTrends in MEMSManufacturing &PackagingFerro-ElectricThin FilmsMotion Sensors forConsumer & MobileapplicationsMEMS for CellPhones andTabletsUncooled InfraredImaging: Commercial &Military ApplicationsIMU & Gyro forDefense, Aerospace& IndustrialStatus of theCMOS ImageSensorsNew!3-Axis ConsumerGyroscopesNew!Emerging EnergyHarvestingDevicesNew!MEMS Front-EndManufacturingTrendsNew!MEMS PressureSensorSensor fusion ofacceleros, gyros &magnetometers
  18. 18. © 2013 • 18Copyrights © Yole Développement SA. All rights reserved.Yole activities in MEMSMedia businessNews feed / Magazines /WebcastsReportsMarketResearchConsulting servicesMarket research,Technology &