STMicroelectronics and Soundchip to Collaborate on HD-PA

GENEVA,Switzerland /PRNewswire/ -- STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications and a leading supplier of high-performance audio ICs, together with Soundchip SA, a Swiss-based electro-acoustics consultancy and originator of the High Definition Personal Audio (HD-PA) Standard, announced a substantive collaboration aimed at bringing HD-PA to market by leveraging their respective strengths in audio system and semiconductor technology, product design and industrialization methods, audio software and sales and marketing.

HD-PA represents an aspirational statement of sound quality for personal audio systems. Unlike other approaches which focus on the quality of sound produced at the source, HD-PA offers a new and authoritative approach for driving innovation in personal audio at the ear, considering and addressing the influence of important environmental factors, including noise.

As a result of this explosive combination of technologies, which include ST's best-in-class audio IC's for sound reproduction and noise cancellation, MEMS microphone sensing and Soundchip's unique audio system technology for sound at the ear, the companies plan to deliver HD-PA Platforms and HD-PA Ready components that present an unbeatable combination of performance, reliability and speed to market.

The substantive collaboration announced today will see ST license patented personal audio technology from Soundchip, becoming an active champion of the HD-PA Standard, while Soundchip will access design software tools from ST and promote ST's HD-PA Ready silicon.

The intellectual property that ST is licensing from Soundchip provides access to a comprehensive set of technological resources that enable ST to deliver to its customers HD-PA-compliant sound performance in IC's designed for state of the art headsets and headphones.

"ST is already a global leader in the design and high-volume manufacturing of integrated circuits and MEMS, and we anticipate that by adopting the HD-PA Standard and Soundchip technologies, our devices will provide customers with a thoroughly compelling sound experience," said Benedetto Vigna, MEMS, Sensor and High-Performance Analog Division General Manager at STMicroelectronics. "Developing HD-PA-compliant devices demands the close association of silicon and acoustics. Our cooperative efforts with Soundchip underpin our commitment to providing customers with market-leading audio technologies."

Mark Donaldson, Soundchip CEO, said, "Soundchip has a wealth of experience in the design of high-performance audio systems technology for personal audio. Partnering with ST to bring HD-PA to market makes absolute sense as we share a common vision for audio technology at the ear and ST has the ability to transform innovative ideas into world-class silicon available to customers on a global scale."

ST expects its first HD-PA Ready silicon devices to be available in sampling quantities at the beginning of Q4 2011.

About Soundchip
Soundchip SA is a Swiss based audio systems consultancy focused on delivering innovative solutions in personal audio. The company is the originator of the HD-PA standard and is committed to providing customers with solutions that demonstrate the superior qualities of high definition sound in products designed for mobility and convenience.

About STMicroelectronics
STMicroelectronics is a global leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications with innovative semiconductor solutions. ST aims to be the undisputed leader in multimedia convergence and power applications leveraging its vast array of technologies, design expertise and combination of intellectual property portfolio, strategic partnerships and manufacturing strength. In 2010, the Company's net revenues were $10.35 billion.

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