8 Mar 2022

Extract from Chairman's statement March 2022

The Covid pandemic has caused tough operating conditions for companies globally, but CML have successfully battled through, growing the team to over 130 employees, and achieving 11 new design wins in 2021. As we look to 2022, CML is in a strong position to recognise significant revenue growth. In this article, our Executive Chairman, Dr Martin Knight, shares some of the key reasons in his Chairman's statement.

"Our optimism for 2022 is due to 5 factors:

  • We have shipped in or are designed into 22 smartphones with our core optical image stabilisation (OIS) actuators
  • Our combined autofocus (AF) and OIS actuator is now in mass production with the first product launched in a handset in late 2021
  • Our sensor shift OIS actuator will be in market in late Q1 2022
  • 16 companies now hold a licence to CML technology
  • We have established presences in Tokyo and San Francisco

In addition to these immediate prospects, we have taken significant steps to broaden our revenue and product base:

  • For smartphone cameras, we have improved the performance of our lens shift actuator; we have developed further our sensor shift actuator, introducing this technology to the Android smartphone ecosystem; we have developed a slim AF actuator, for use in foldable phones in particular; and we have a module tilt design for which we have strong hopes.
  • Our 3D sensing module has been demonstrated to some interest, principally on the US West Coast.
  • We have taken our haptic glove – targeted at the virtual reality market – to customers and will showcase our improved, more user friendly glove later in the spring in Asia and the US.
  • We have made good progress in the development of our silicon strategy.  Recruiting experienced individuals in the field of silicon sales and chip design and development, we have taken concrete steps to ensure that we receive appropriate value for the control system that underpins our actuator performance at a cost to customers that is attractive.
  • We have opened up the AR/VR world to CML’s technology.  There is a significant hardware deficiency in the AR/VR world.  The headsets, the handsets, the gloves currently in the market are too bulky, too power consumptive, to provide consumers with a truly immersive experience.  The strengths of our SMA based technology – small size, low power usage, precisely controllable – are eminently applicable to meet this hardware deficiency.  And so we are in active dialogue with major corporations focused on the AR/VR world.
  • To back up this growing interest in our technology, we now have over 500 patents granted or pending – a tribute to the skills and work of our growing engineering and IP teams.

More than this, a broader industrial interest is being shown in our technology, for medical devices, for fluid control, for haptic applications.

This latter point is important: CML as a business is an actuator company.  Its technology is about actuation.  And the demand for smart, high force, high precision controlled actuators is strong in many industries not just the smartphone camera market.  To develop our interest in these industries, we will need more capital, to ensure that our outstanding engineering team have the resources and the corporate and sales support needed to drive the business of CML forward.  The Board is committed to ensuring that the business is adequately capitalized.  As a result, a funding round is now in preparation to provide the financial wherewithal to underpin this effort.

I am grateful for the continued support of our Board, whose experience and active involvement in our business is much valued."

Dr M P Knight