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Analog Devices retains domination in data converters
11 May 2011, News

As the global market continues down the road to full-on recovery in 2011, the technology sector likewise continues to ramp its way back towards pre-recession numbers. This is particularly the case thanks to consumer electronics, mobile phones, and portable PCs and tablets.

Growing demand for a wide array of these digital devices means that advancements in analog technology, particularly data conversion, must rapidly keep up to meet the latest market requirements. This means that in the highly demanding market, new data conversion techniques are necessary in enabling higher fidelity audio and video, improved on-camera video displays, and an array of touch sensing options used in all segments of the technology industry.

According to Databeans research, no one has benefited from this more than Analog Devices, the overall global market leader in data converters. The company boasts the industry’s leading portfolio of ADCs (analog-to-digital converters) and DACs (digital-to-analog converters), as well as numerous application specific products, across all major application segments. This position helped Analog Devices to increase its already impressive share of the global data converters market by 33% from $1,07 billion in 2009 to $1,42 billion in global revenue in 2010. This was good enough for a supplier share of 47,5% of the market, or more than doubles the share of its next closest competitor, Texas Instruments. In fact, Analog Devices controlled more of the 2010 supplier share than the next 10 suppliers combined.

Because of its role as market leader, Analog Devices has been responsible for some of the most significant and efficient data converters to be released over the past year. For example, in January, the company released the AD9284, the industry’s first dual, 8-bit, 250 MSps ADC. At the same time it released the AD9286 500 MSps ADC, which delivers 8-bit resolution at 40% less power than competitive components. Both converters feature high SNR (signal-to-noise ratio) of 49,3 dBFS and are designed for applications such as handheld scope meters, battery-powered instruments and digital oscilloscopes.

2010 and 2009 Worldwide data converter revenue share by supplier
2010 and 2009 Worldwide data converter revenue share by supplier

With data converters accounting for more than half of total company revenue, Analog Devices has much to be optimistic about for 2011. For its fiscal first quarter, the company’s net income rose to $222,1 million, from $120,5 million a year earlier. Also, company revenues in the first quarter were $728,5 million, which were up from $603 million one year earlier, a 21% increase year-over-year. Gross profit margin also improved to 66,2% from 61,1% one year prior.

The company has equally high aspirations for the second quarter, which it believes will fall in the $730 million to $760 million range, which would represent growth of 9% to 14% on a year-to-year basis. This is thanks largely to increasing orders in the first quarter from most of Analog Devices’ top customers. Meanwhile, the company’s cash generation also continues to be strong. These results have given the company confidence that the inventory correction issues of its recent past are now mostly behind it. And even though parts of the semiconductor industry remain uncertain, the company remains confident about its future.

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