Okay, this briefing actually happened the day before CES officially opened to the public, but I’m sure you’ll give me a pass. Bob Krysiak went through ST Microelectronic’s portfolio, but placed a particular emphasis on automotive and wearables.
In wearables, Krysiak emphasized ST’s collection of sensors and low-power microcontrollers for use in next-generation wearables. He cited a partnership with Sensoria, a company that has woven textile sensors into a line of machine-washable “smart socks” that drive data sets based on range, motion, heart rate, impact force, and other clinical measurements. Although Krysiak didn’t specify where ST’s components are used, the smart socks are comprised of three textile sensors accompanied by an anklet that includes an accelerometer and altimeter that communicate with a mobile app.
Krysiak also revealed that the automotive vertical now makes up about 25 percent of ST revenues, thanks in part to the high volume of silicon in modern vehicles – but with high volumes come small margins. During the demonstration sessions I asked how the company planned to deal with slim mar-gins as we reach the limits of Moore’s law, and was introduced to ST’s Fully Depleted Silicon On Insulator (FD-SOI) technology. FD-SOI is a planar process that simplifies manufacturing processes and provides the advantages of reduced silicon geometries, and ST hopes it can delay 3D transistor retrofits and stay competitive in a field chasing cost conscious automakers and tier 1s.