NEW YORK—Rarely does a company with brand recognition alters its name. But for austriamicrosystems, the board’s decision to truncate its title to “ams” was intended to bring the company back to its roots, according to its president and CEO John Heugle.
“We’ve always historically been referred to as ams, and years ago we had the right to use the ams name. That was lost,” Heugle said in an interview. “Austriamicrosystems globalized the company, and in the last couple of years, [the name] was quite a mouthful.”
The modification does not, however, signal a shift in this European chip company’s strategy. If anything, it emphasizes its determination to become a leading vendor of sensor and sensor interface, power management and wireless solutions. With its $320 million acquisition of Texas Advanced Optoelectronic Solutions Inc., (TAOS), a maker of light, proximity and color sensors, in June 2011, ams is emerging as a small to mid-sized analog company positioned to finish 2012 with double-digit growth.
The company expects 2012 revenue growth of around 40 percent compared with last year as its business in growth markets for smartphones, tablet PCs and mobile devices continues to expand. In 2011, the company reported sales of $383.3 million.
Along with its microphone interface business, “We’ve see strong growth in lighting products, our industrial and medical is showing nice growth as is our wireless business for authentication and payment,” Heugle said.
Indeed, ams [Unterpremstätten, Austria] recently started volume shipments of its active antenna near-field communications (NFC) product for mobile payments. The product helps integrated NFC functionality in SIM or micro-SD cards, and complies with the EMV (Europay, MasterCard and VISA) payment standard.
It also uses the industry’s smallest antenna form factor with virtually a 100-percent read rate, a key attribute since the antenna complexity is “severe” when designing in SIM and micro-SD payment systems into devices.