Still miles ahead in the magnetic sensors industry – An interview with Allegro Microsystems


Michael Doogue

Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer

Allegro Microsystems


Pierre Delbos

Technology & Market Analyst, MEMS & Sensing

Michael Doogue

Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer

Michael Doogue, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer joined Allegro in 1998 as a Design Engineer facilitating the development of Allegro’s innovative speed and current sensor ICs. Since joining, Michael has enabled Allegro’s disruptive technologies through his leadership roles as a Design Manager, Director of Strategic Marketing, Business Unit Director of Linear and Current sensors, Vice President of Advanced Sensor Technologies and Senior Vice President of Technology and Products.

Michael earned his B.A. in Physics from Colby College, B.E. in Electrical Engineering from Dartmouth and completed the SEP program at the Stanford University Graduate Business School. He holds over 75 U.S. patents.

Pierre Delbos

Technology & Market Analyst, MEMS & Sensing

Working within the Photonics & Sensing team, Pierre is involved in the development of technology and market products covering MEMS & sensing technologies, including magnetic sensors, optical and audio MEMS, as well as gas and particle sensors.  He also collaborates with his team on custom studies for the key players in the MEMS industry.  Pierre holds a master’s degree in Microelectronics and Photonics Engineering from Grenoble Institute of Technology, PHELMA (France).

Magnetic sensors find extensive use across automotive, mobility, industrial, energy, medical, and consumer sectors. Their versatile functionalities have led to widespread adoption across various applications, propelling the market to a value of $2.9 billion in 2023, as indicated by the latest Magnetic Sensors 2024 report by Yole Group.

As the world and industries undergo rapid transformations in recent years, the application landscape for magnetic sensors is evolving. What are the trending topics in the market? Current sensing and TMR (Tunnel Magneto Resistance) technology stand out.

  • Governments worldwide are incentivizing car OEMs to reduce fuel consumption and transition their models to xEVs, with rates of adoption of battery electric vehicles (BEV) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) varying by region. With conventional shunt technology lacking galvanic isolation, magnetic current sensors present a promising growth opportunity in high-power architectures. The magnetic sensors market for Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) applications is projected to achieve a 22% revenue CAGR from 2023 to 2029.
  • With billions of dollars invested in TMR-related research, development, CapEx, and M&A activities over the past two years, industry players are harnessing the technology’s sensitivity, bandwidth, and low power consumption for position sensing and even current sensing. Yole analysts anticipate a 10% CAGR in the TMR volume market from 2023 to 2029.

One company excelling in these areas is Allegro Microsystems, the longstanding leader in the magnetic sensors industry.

Allegro Microsystems’ significant presence in automotive and industrial applications, coupled with its extensive technology portfolio encompassing Hall, GMR, and recently TMR, positions it as the most strategically advantageous player in the market. Yole Group’s MEMS & Sensing analyst, Pierre Delbos, had the opportunity to engage in a discussion with Michael Doogue, Senior Vice President, and Chief Technology Officer at Allegro Microsystems.

Explore the insights from their conversation below.

Pierre Delbos (PD): Please briefly introduce your company.

Michael Doogue (MD): Allegro Microsystems is a global leader in power and sensing solutions for motion control and energy-efficient systems. Through our innovations in e-Mobility, Clean Energy, and Automation, we are helping move the world toward a safer, more sustainable future. Allegro’s products are at the heart of functions that sense, regulate, and drive mechanical systems. Our products are in your car’s electric or gasoline engine systems, vehicle safety systems, in solar panels, hyperscale data centers and in automation enabling efficient factories. If you drive a car, if you use cloud data services, or if you receive a package delivery, you are interacting with our technology.

PD: Could you tell us how your magnetic sensor portfolio is aligned with the ongoing electrification of cars and the advent of autonomous driving?

MD: Car OEMS are striving to improve vehicle performance and efficiency, which now contain significant electric propulsion systems and advanced safety systems. Every time that energy changes state, from AC (Alternating Current) to DC (Direct Current) for charging, from low voltage DC to high voltage DC for battery storage and then from DC back to AC to drive the motors, there is an opportunity to improve power conversion efficiency. Allegro’s high-accuracy and high-bandwidth magnetic sensor portfolio is essential to delivery of the lowest energy losses and highest efficiency power conversion, resulting in a longer driving range each time the vehicle battery is charged.

Simultaneously, all levels of vehicle autonomy are built on the basics of computer driven braking and steering systems. Allegro’s associated ASIL-D motor driver actuators, position sensors and high accuracy current sensors enable the smoothest braking and most responsive steering experience for the driver.

PD: Other non-automotive applications such as Consumer and Industrial & Infrastructure are expected to grow in the coming years. How is Allegro Microsystems involved in these industries?

MD: Allegro is an Automotive first company. However, we are also eager to participate in Industrial, consumer and other end markets which value the quality, robustness and the high-performance characteristics embedded in our technology.

Examples include a solar inverter that has many of the same characteristics as a vehicle inverter, or a vehicle charging station that looks quite like an on-board-charging system.

Customers in industrial and consumer end markets appreciate the built-in robustness and high quality fundamental to Allegro’s technology.

PD: Current sensing seems to be the next wave in the magnetic sensors industry, with high stakes for the players involved. How do you see this market evolve in the next ten years?

MD: As the market leader in magnetic and current sensors, we have a good sense of market demands, innovation trends and the opportunity. Fifteen years ago, magnetic sensors were deemed to be slow compared to other current sensor technologies. Allegro was the first magnetic sensor company to release high bandwidth magnetic current sensor ICs. High bandwidth current sensors more accurately reflect the characteristics of the changing signal that is being measured. We introduced the highest bandwidth 400KHz current sensor IC more than five years ago, followed quickly by a 1MHz current sensor.

We recently launched the industry leading 5MHz current sensor and have products in development that further eclipse this performance. We see a growing market need for high bandwidth magnetic current sensors, which are needed in power electronics that take advantage of the higher switching speeds and higher efficiencies offered by silicon carbide and gallium nitride technologies.

We see the market continuing to evolve rapidly and driving our products to applications we had not previously imagined.

PD: The $420 million acquisition of Crocus Technology by Allegro Microsystems is one of the largest investments in the magnetic sensors industry. What will Crocus’ monolithic TMR bring to your sensor portfolio?

MD: TMR extends accuracy, sensitivity and bandwidth relative to traditional technologies, such as Hall effect. The acquisition of Crocus XtremeSense TMR brings a super team of engineers and robust technology to Allegro, putting performance aspirations of our organic TMR developments on an accelerated path.

Allegro’s new TMR products will be released under the XtremeSense brand and deliver best-in-class solutions in accuracy, bandwidth, power consumption and precision, without sacrificing cost and size.

PD: Which applications are the most likely to benefit from the added value of your TMR technology?

MD: XtremeSense TMR technology can be readily applied to many product types and applications, for example:

  • Current sensors, where improved accuracy and higher bandwidth enables high efficiency power conversion stages or faster over-current protection circuits in electric vehicle powertrains and charging infrastructure.
  • Position sensors, where greater resolution and bandwidth improves the user experience and efficiency of motor systems or any real-time feedback system, with Industrial manufacturing or ADAS steering systems as great examples.
  • Switches, where the intrinsic low power consumption of XtremeSense TMR sensors opens opportunities to extend battery lifetime on many portable, battery powered devices and other consumer or medical devices.

PD: Allegro Microsystems is the leader in the magnetic sensors industry. How will you keep your leadership position in the coming years?

MD: Innovation with purpose is a core value at Allegro. We take great pride in our leading magnetic sensor market position, built on continued innovation as well as customer intimacy.

We continue to expand the footprint of our team members to enable us to get closer to our customers and partner with them to develop solutions to their challenges. Our newest 5MHz current sensor, for example, is the first market solution capable of responding fast enough for high-speed SiC and GaN protection while also providing lower-frequency measurement accuracy needed for power-conversion control. We have also significantly accelerated our TMR roadmap and solidified our market positioning with our recent acquisition of XtremeSense TMR technology.

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