LONDON NXP Semiconductors is investing Euros 42 million ($58 million) in its Sound Solutions innovation and manufacturing activities in Vienna, Austria.
The investment is part of NXP's planned capital expenditure program for the year, which is put at between 6 to 8 percent of revenues, equating to between Euros 300 million to Euros 350 million.
The funds will enable NXP (Eindhoven, the Netherlands) to expand fully automated mass production of its rectangular speaker generation for mobile phones over the next two years, and develop more innovative products to strengthen its position in a rapidly expanding sector that is predicted to be up to two billion units in 2008.
NXP sales are predicted to increase to some 550 million sound components in 2007, an annual increase of over 50 percent, and the company aims to sell over one billion units by 2010.
"Whilst personal music players have given people a soundtrack to their lives, speakers enable the experience to be shared. With more than two billion speakers shipped for mobile devices, NXP is firmly established as the market leader in this sector," commented Marc Cetto, Executive Vice President, NXP Mobile and Personal Business Unit.
Cetto adds the market is being driven by traditional applications such as hands-free listening and polyphonic ring tones as well as mobile phones and portable sound accessories.
The company's latest design rectangular speakers, measuring just 10 x 4.8 x 2 mm, are said to be among the smallest loudspeakers worldwide for mobile phones and portable music players.
NXP, the spin out from Philips Semiconductors, has a 50 strong R&D team designing ever smaller speakers for gear such as mini-headphones and sound panels with hi-fi sound quality. Some of the most active projects are looking at the development of microphones based on Micro-Electro-Mechanical-System (MEMS) technology.
Headquartered in Vienna and with a subsidiary in Beijing, the Sound Solutions Business Line employs over 1000 people, of whom 450 are in Vienna.