Analog Devices Acquires Audio IC Specialist, AudioAsics

October 05, 2006 by Jeff Shepard

Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) announced that it has acquired privately held AudioAsics A/S, a Danish company consisting of a team of experienced developers of high-performance, low-power microphone and audio signal conditioning technology. The combination of ADI's signal processing capabilities with AudioAsics' expertise is expected to result in miniature, low-power audio solutions that provide better sound quality in portable consumer and communications products like MP3 players, cell phones and PDAs. ADI paid approximately $19 million in cash at the closing in exchange for all of the outstanding shares of AudioAsics. In addition, upon the achievement of certain milestones following the closing, ADI would be obligated to pay up to an additional $8 million.

AudioAsics was founded in 2003 as a privately held company in Roskilde, Denmark, with funding from Danish investors Vaekstfonden, SEED Capital Denmark, and Hvista. ADI expects to expand its presence in Denmark by creating a center of excellence for low-power audio implementation. Analog Devices also will maintain and expand AudioAsics' facility in Bratislava, Slovakia. AudioAsics' CEO, Michael Deruginsky, will remain with ADI working within ADI's audio group.

"We are going to bring big sound to small form factors using AudioAsics know-how in low-power and ADI's core technologies, AudioAsics allows Analog Devices to continue developing our low-power audio capabilities, while expanding our presence in the Nordic and Eastern European regions," said Dick Meaney, ADI Vice President for Precision Signal Processing. "From a product and technology perspective, AudioAsics has the bases covered by bringing together the signal conditioning required by high-performance microphones and marrying that with low-power mixed-signal capability, which is a must-have in any portable application."

AudioAsics designs low-voltage, low-power audio ASICs, including analog-to-analog and analog-to-digital pre-amplifiers for use in miniature microphones and receivers as well as high-performance analog-to-digital converters and speaker drivers. AudioAsics is currently shipping products that support both ECM (electret microphone) and MEMS-based microphone solutions. Industry-wide, microphone unit shipments are projected to reach more than 2.5 billion in 2008, according to The Information Network, while industry trends indicate MEMS-based digital microphones will represent the majority of all microphone shipments by 2010. The acquisition of AudioAsics enables Analog Devices to offer a complete portfolio of low-power audio products extending across the signal chain, including ADI's SigmaDSP® and Blackfin® processors and Class D amplifiers.