Wuhan City

Commercial position and opportunities

Patented technology platform for substantial global markets

CML at a glance

Mechatronics involves the harmony between different engineering and scientific disciplines, primarily mechanical engineering and electronics, to deliver innovative and sophisticated product designs.

CML has developed and delivered technological innovations for high technology applications which require extremely small, lightweight, precise and powerful motors. This has established a technology that is highly compatible with an electronics-dominated world, not just supplanting current actuator technology but creating entirely new applications.

CML is a key technology enabler, developing actuators with its Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) technology platform using first-rate technical expertise. From delivering high-performance cameras to localised haptic (touch) sensations, CML creates value for investors, licensees and end users.

CML is working with multiple supply chains that have made significant investments to put in place production capacity to deliver millions of SMA actuators and cameras a month. In addition to CML's design and development work on mechanical actuators, electronics, algorithms, software code, and manufacturing and test equipment, CML supports its camera actuator licensees and their customers globally.

CML stands out as a business that can deliver world-class technology for next generation products in ultra-high volume product segments. 

In order to successfully work alongside the world’s technology giants and their preferred supply chains, the strength of technology and team is paramount. To create a truly multidisciplinary environment, CML has combined world-class engineers from a broad variety of backgrounds. Key areas of expertise include mechanical, electronic, software, and control engineering, materials science, design of experiments, system modelling and simulation.

The CML technology platform is also evolving alongside growing and emerging markets. SMA actuators are suitable wherever small, lightweight, precise and powerful motors are required. CML technology is particularly applicable across a range of devices from mobile phones to wearables and beyond, with active developments for haptic, facial recognition and augmented reality (AR) products in these markets.

An extensive portfolio of patents, know-how and proprietary software has been developed to protect CML's competitive position within the actuator ecosystem. 

CML’s goal is to take intellectual property from its technical facilities in Cambridge to global production sites and into the hands of consumers.

Business model

CML’s established business model leverages its extensive patent portfolio and proven technical expertise. CML licenses its SMA platform technology in return for licensing fees, engineering fees and product sales royalties.

With substantial investment in SMA research and development over the past decade, CML has built a robust global patent portfolio of around 200 patents issued and pending worldwide. CML licenses technology to a network of partners, mainly consumer electronics vendors and their supply chains.

CML is committed to continuous development of SMA actuators. CML is targeting next-generation cameras, haptics, facial recognition and augmented reality applications to meet the roadmap aspiration of its global customer base.

CML engages in a variety of programmes, including technology development, transfer and production support to accelerate the commercialisation of SMA-based technology. These programmes are collaborative and tailored to the individual requirements of each licensee. CML offers ongoing support from initial sample build to mass production, including the development of manufacturing processes and equipment.

Markets and opportunities

CML licenses actuators for cameras currently used in smartphones, wearables and drones. Beyond that, CML has developed haptic actuators alongside actuators for facial recognition and augmented reality applications to meet consumer needs across all applicable markets.

Cameras are one of the key features within electronic devices. Vendors compete to offer superior imaging technology, increasing both the quantity and quality of cameras. Smartphones exemplify such market trends, with the total number of individual camera modules expected to exceed 6.3 billion annually in 2023.

Haptic technology is set to nearly triple in value to $27.6 billion by 2022. 80% of market growth will be driven by smartphones, tablets and wearables, with an array of applications from gaming to enabling new casework designs.

The number of mobile devices including facial recognition technology is expected to exceed 1 billion by 2020 and augmented reality is expected to become a $60 billion industry by 2023.

One can conclude that CML's target markets are all high volume, providing substantial opportunities for growth.

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