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MagnaChip Semiconductor Corporation (MX - Snapshot Report), a Korea-based analog and mixed-signal semiconductor maker, signed a patent license agreement with SENIS AG to use the latter’s magnetic field sending technology.

Zug, Switzerland-based SENIS manufactures magnetic field and current measurement instruments. The agreement will allow MagnaChip to use SENIS’ wide-ranging portfolio of patents and technology for its mobile, consumer, industrial and automotive applications.

MagnaChip expects SENIS’ technology to considerably strengthen the company's present portfolio of sensors, and set in motion further development of sensor solutions for new industrial and consumer applications.  

MagnaChip's present product range of sensors includes the e-Compass and MXM11XX Digital Hall sensor family. These intelligent sensors provide cost-effective features and advanced design capabilities, transforming the way in which people interact with devices. For instance, designers use sensors to differentiate their models by simplifying interfaces in smartphones.

A recent report from the Gartner Group shows that non-optical semiconductor sensor revenue grew 5.9% in 2013 to $6.1 billion, and is expected to reach $10.2 billion in 2018. This growth is driven by the rapid penetration of sensors in mobile phones. Furthermore, sensors are used in diverse applications, and the increasingly sophisticated present-day devices call for an emerging class of intelligent sensors in mass volume.  

In order to capitalize on this evolution of sensor chips, MagnaChip is taking initiatives to develop and expand its product offerings. The strategic alliance with SENIS will enable MagnaChip to incorporate the former’s high-performance magnetic field and current measurement technology into its products. This should facilitate the development of differentiated sensor solutions, especially for industrial applications.

MagnaChip currently holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Investors interested in the semiconductor industry may consider better-ranked stocks like Montage Technology Group Limited (MONT - Snapshot Report), MaxLinear, Inc. (MXL - Snapshot Report) and Microchip Technology Inc. (MCHP - Analyst Report). While Montage sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), MaxLinear and Microchip carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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