Four Billion Reasons to Be Proud

Aug 11, 2016

By Rick Bergman


On Wall Street, a company’s quarter-to-quarter and year-to-year growth is arguably the most common measurements of its success. Revenues and earnings certainly do give a picture of performance, good or bad, but one often overlooked metric of success is the number of units shipped. We’re proud with the fact that we recently shipped the 4-billionth unit of Synaptics’ storied human-interface solutions.

To put this significant achievement into perspective, it took Synaptics nearly 10 years to reach the 1-billion-units-shipped level, then three more years to ship the second billion. But it was only one year later that we shipped the 3-billionth unit, and we’ve now passed the 4-billionth mark!

Of course selling a billion units is just half the challenge – you have to ship them too. Our customers can ramp very quickly… from zero to a million units overnight. They count on us to deliver on time, every time, and to respond instantly to product mix changes. We have a small army of people and systems behind the scenes working tirelessly with our manufacture and assembly partners to ensure continuity of supply.

The “hockey stick” growth we’ve enjoyed can be best attributed to Synaptics’ vision and discipline since its founding. Those early units-shipped numbers were relatively low because we were providing primarily touchpad solutions – the world’s first – to laptop makers. We built on that success by developing products for new markets, such as the touch-sensing solutions used in the world’s first capacitive-touchscreen mobile phones. Soon, Synaptics would be a major player in two of the technology industry’s highest-volume markets – laptop computers and mobile phones – and the number of units shipped grew commensurately.

This multiplication of breakthrough products and new markets has repeated itself several times, as designers and manufacturers insisted on true product differentiation that only Synaptics human-interface innovation could enable. With each expansion of our solutions portfolio, we both positively impacted the markets served and boosted the demand for what has become the industry’s broadest array of touch control, display, integrated touch and display, and biometrics solutions. The breadth of these products has been opening new opportunities; in addition to the well-established notebook PC, tablet and smartphone markets, our touch, display and biometrics technology is now finding its way into PC peripherals, wearable devices, and automotive applications. At the same time, they’ve engendered exciting collaboration opportunities with our strategic partners to further extend the reach of Synaptics innovation.

As indicated by the fast-growing volume shipments, Synaptics clearly is reaping the rewards of its industry leadership position, for which we have many reasons to be proud – 4-billion of them (that’s with a “B”!!).