Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI) is fluent in both analog and digital. The company is a leading maker of analog (linear and mixed-signal) and digital integrated circuits (ICs), including digital signal processors (DSPs). Its linear ICs translate real-world phenomena such as pressure, temperature, and sound into digital signals. ADI's thousands of chip designs are used in industrial process controls, medical and scientific instruments, communications gear, computers, and consumer electronics devices. ADI's chips go into high-tech goods from more than 60,000 companies, including Ericsson, Philips, Siemens, and Sony. Customers outside the US account for more than 80% of ADI's sales.
The company has manufacturing facilities in Ireland, the Philippines, and the US. Though more than half of the company's sales are made through distributors, ADI also sells through direct sales offices and sales representatives worldwide and via its Web site.
Reacting to lower sales as global demand for industrial and consumer products plummeted, ADI aggressively reduced expenses in 2008 and 2009. The company consolidated its two US wafer fabrication facilities and its two fabs in Ireland. ADI outsources some of its wafer fabrication, primarily to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. ADI also cut staff as it reorganized its product development and support programs to focus on expanding applications for its core analog and DSP products. Partly as a result of restructuring, the company's gross margin percentage was 120 basis points higher in fiscal 2011 compared with 2010.
Year-over-year fiscal 2011 revenue rose 8% thanks mainly to strong sales in the automation, instrumentation, automotive, and basestation markets. Sales from customers in the automotive market was up 25%, primarily because of growing demand for electronic content and better auto sales behind government incentive programs and inventory replenishment. Sales to customers in the consumer segment was down 6% as a result mainly of the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011.
ADI continues to keep R&D spending high -- about 17% of sales -- to promote new product development. The company has about 1,700 US patents.
In 2012 ADI acquired California-based Multigig to improve the clocking functionality of its high-speed data converters and signal processing products.
ADI leveraged its early analog know-how by integrating mixed-signal technology onto DSPs in time to catch the Internet tidal wave. At the same time, the company widened its focus, pioneering tiny silicon devices called microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) that can be deployed as accelerometers for use in air bags and microphones to sense audio, among other uses. – less