Synaptics to Acquire Audio and Voice Technology Specialist Conexant

June 16 2017, 03:00
The market for anything related to far-field voice solutions has never been hotter, and acquisitions are a natural result of the increasing demand for those cutting edge technologies and engineering talent. Conexant Systems, a leading provider of audio and voice technology solutions based in Irvine, CA, announced an agreement to be acquired by Synaptics. Meanwhile, Synaptics also acquired the video and audio processing division of Marvell Technology Group.
 

Synaptics has agreed to acquire Conexant and its portfolio of silicon and software solutions for audio, voice and imaging applications for $300 million in cash and 726,666 shares of Synaptics common stock in a cash-free, debt-free transaction.

Founded in 1999, Conexant Systems is an established industry provider of hardware and software solutions for audio and voice applications. The company combines its significant IP portfolio in DSP, analog and mixed signal technology with embedded software to enrich and expand audio and voice capabilities of products across nearly every vertical. Conexant is also active in advanced imaging solutions designed to improve performance of image dependent electronic equipment, such as document and photo imaging controllers and digital video.

“I would like to thank each and every employee for their dedication and hard work over the past four years as we turned Conexant into a leader in audio and imaging. We are witnessing a positive inflection point in the business with voice becoming the human interface to machines and with the move to next-generation USB-C headphones,” says Cynthia Paul, Chairman of the Board, Conexant. “I am excited about the next chapter in Conexant’s life as Synaptics helps scale the business.”

Combined, Conexant and Synaptics, together with partners and customers, have the ability to deliver powerful solutions that redefine how people interact with machines, including smart home devices, automobiles, computers, industrial applications, connected devices, IoT products, and wearables. The two companies offer highly complementary, innovative solutions, and the scale of the combined entity should be well positioned to invest in new opportunities that greatly enhance the human-machine-interface experience.

“We have spent the past few years sharpening Conexant’s focus on providing silicon and software solutions for voice-enabled devices, consumer and commercial imaging, and next-generation audio applications,” says Jan Johannessen, CEO, Conexant. “We believe that by joining Synaptics, we will further scale in the USB-C headphone market, while also enabling device makers to develop innovative applications for some of the industry’s most advanced human-machine-interface technologies, including voice.”
 
Conexant offers a 4-mic development kit for quickly prototyping and developing high-performance far-field devices with Amazon Alexa.

Conexant owns a portfolio of more than 480 patents granted or pending in far-field voice solutions with more than 27 million units shipped. Conexant’s far-field voice processing solutions have been featured in more than 60 different products, including a variety of home appliances, home audio/video applications, home networking devices, lighting, security devices, set-top-boxes, smart thermostats, robots, and toys. Recognized for its powerful supply chain and engineering support capabilities, Conexant has been selected by industry leaders to collaboratively develop noise robust, voice-enabled products and development kits for leading artificial intelligence (AI) platforms. In addition to its voice solutions, Conexant is helping the 13-billion-dollar headphone industry go digital with its USB-C CODEC solutions for next generation hearables and wearables.

“At Synaptics, we have a knack for bringing the right technologies to the right growth markets. Adding voice and audio processing solutions to our portfolio blends perfectly into the company’s innovative technology product mix,” says Rick Bergman, President and CEO, Synaptics, “The acquisition broadens Synaptics’ portfolio of human interface solutions and rapidly accelerates the execution of our IoT strategy, driving our next major phase of growth. Conexant adds an established and highly profitable revenue base, a diverse set of customers, new tier-one accounts, impressive global talent, and a deep portfolio of intellectual property.”

The Conexant transaction is expected to close in the third calendar quarter of 2017, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory clearances.

Synaptics acquires Multimedia Solutions Business of Marvell Technology Group
Meanwhile, simultaneously with the Conexant announcement, Synaptics confirmed a definitive agreement to acquire the Multimedia Solutions Business of Marvell Technology Group, a leading provider of advanced processing technology for video and audio applications, also for the smart home. Both organizations have strong technology and market positions, and Synaptics believes the combination will immediately jumpstart its presence in the smart home market.

Marvell’s multimedia product family combines sophisticated video and audio processing solutions with an extensive IP portfolio that capitalizes on consumer’s paradigm shift to on-demand immersive media consumption. Marvell’s advanced media processing technology, coupled with deep content security capabilities, is fundamental to, and deployed in set-top boxes, over-the-top (OTT) streaming media devices that deliver content over the internet, virtual/augmented reality platforms, and digital personal assistants such as smart speakers.
www.conexant.com | www.synaptics.com
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