SAN FRANCISCO - In the aftermath of its annual financial analysts' meeting (May 11th), Texas Instruments Inc. elaborated on its strategy in data converters ICs. While the company's market positioning relies heavily on multi-market building blocks sold in small lots through distributors, these parts are usually designed with customer inputs in mind, explained Kent Novak, director of the high-speed data converter business.
While celebrating leadership in certain dimensions such as high resolution or fast conversion speed, new data converters tend to be "end equipment focused," Novak said. Thus, a part like the ADS5500, a 14-bit A/D converter with a 125 Msamples/s update rate — one of the fastest available at that resolution — is targeted at basestation receivers. Other markets targeted include professional video, ATE and communications test.
The seeming specmanship of products like the ADS5500 and the ADS1271 (a part with 24-bit dc accuracy and a 100-ksamples/s update rate) is often a "byproduct" of a market-focused development effort, Novak said. "It does create a 'brand-awareness' for the company," he said.
While TI does not publicly breakout its revenues for data converters and amplifiers, its vice president for high performance analog Greg Lowe had earlier told analysts that roughly 50 percent of the analog product group's 2004 revenues had come from new products — those introduced during the part three years. The acquisition of Burr-Brown Corp., with acknowledged strengths in data converters and amplifiers, is now paying off in new product introductions, Novak acknowledged.
TI's 2004 data converter shipments, roughly 17 percent of a $2.1 billion market according to iSuppli Corp. (El Segundo, Calif.), grew 37.7 percent from $265 million in 2003 to $365 million in 2004. Databeans (Reno, NV) agreed with iSuppli on Texas Instruments 2003 and 2004 data converter revenues, but suggested the company had a 14.5 percent share of a $2.5 billion market. Both research firms identified Texas Instruments as number two in a market dominated by Analog Devices Inc.
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While acknowledging ADI's strength in data converters, Gartner Dataquest had given TI a number three slot behind Maxim Integrated Products. The 2004 data converter market was $2.4 billion, according to Dataquest, and Maxim and TI held 15 and 14 percent shares respectively.