Thursday, May 19, 2011

SMSC acquires BridgeCo

HAUPPAUGE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SMSC (NASDAQ: SMSC), a leading semiconductor company enabling content rich connectivity systems, today announced that it has acquired BridgeCo Inc. (BridgeCo), a leader in networked audio technologies. BridgeCo’s JukeBlox™ technology connects tablets, smartphones, PCs, Macs and other consumer electronics products to a new world of audio entertainment. With the industry’s only system-on-a-chip (SoC) and Software Design Kit (SDK) for networked audio, BridgeCo is making the connected home a reality and enabling consumers to access their local or cloud-based music library from any device and from any room in the home. Its JukeBlox software platform, with integrated WiFi® support, enables music streaming to virtually all home audio equipment including home theater systems, A/V receivers, radios, wireless speakers and portable music player docking stations. BridgeCo’s technology has been adopted by some of the largest consumer electronics brands in the world including Pioneer, Philips, Denon, Marantz, JBL, B&W and Harmon/Kardon, leading to a doubling of customer products in production in each of the last three years.

“As consumer companies seek to deliver wireless multimedia ecosystems that are user friendly, the market for solutions that enable consumers to stream music from smartphones, tablets and PCs over a WiFi home network is set to take off at an exponential rate,” said Christine King, President & Chief Executive Officer of SMSC. “BridgeCo is playing an important role in driving the adoption of those ecosystems with hardware and software solutions that provide a platform which has been rigorously tested and certified for an interoperable environment. With the acquisition of BridgeCo, we are significantly enhancing our consumer technology prowess as we further position SMSC as a preferred partner to the industry’s top consumer audio device designers for best-in-class wireless audio solutions in the home or car.”

BridgeCo’s line of ARM-based multi-core network media processors integrate a system controller, real-time audio processing engine, DRM security processor, network I/O processor and a WiFi MAC/Baseband to enable high-bandwidth wireless audio streaming. BridgeCo also markets Digital Media Player modules and network connectivity software. Its JukeBlox technology integrates a broad range of functionality including Internet radio with premium services such as Pandora®, Last.FM®, Rhapsody®, Napster® & Sirius®, and wired or wireless streaming of digital music via multiple standards. It also provides USB functionality, a broad suite of codecs, protocols and DRM standards, and traditional home audio functionality such as AM/FM radio and clock/alarm functionality.

BridgeCo's JukeBlox Connectivity platform enables consumers to stream music throughout their entire house wirelessly. The platform includes an optimized network audio processor with integrated WiFi networking and software that allow consumers to access music libraries and playlists on or through their smartphone, tablet, Mac or PC and to stream it to any BridgeCo enabled home audio product. It was designed to operate in ecosystems that promote multi-tasking capabilities with the latest portable device operating systems. This way consumers can wirelessly stream music throughout the home in the background while keeping their smartphones and tablets free for web-browsing, e-mail or e-book reading or keeping up with friends and family via social networking. Music library streaming can also be sourced from a Mac or PC over a home WiFi network with downloaded remote control apps running on a smartphone or tablet.

Several WiFi-based interoperability standards are emerging to enable an optimized wireless media streaming environment and BridgeCo’s technology was developed to ensure transparent interoperability across these multiple standards. This means that all users in a home will have the freedom to choose any smartphone, tablet or PC, without being limited to a particular brand or standard, to enjoy wireless music streaming from any cloud-based music storage service to networked audio products enabled by BridgeCo’s technology.

According to ABI Research, networked audio devices will grow from 3.7 million units in 2009 to more than 56 million by 2015 with revenue growing to more than $10 billion by 2015.

For the three months ended March 2011, BridgeCo’s revenue was $2.2 million and revenue in the three months ended June 30, 2011 is expected to be approximately $5 million. We currently expect the acquisition to be neutral on a full year non-GAAP earnings per share basis in SMSC’s fiscal 2012. Under terms of the acquisition agreement, SMSC paid $40 million in cash and additional cash payments of up to $27.5 million may occur upon achievement of certain performance goals. Headquartered in El Segundo, CA, with offices in India and Japan, BridgeCo has approximately 100 employees. The acquisition closed on May 19, 2011.

About SMSC

SMSC is a leading developer of Smart Mixed-Signal Connectivity™ solutions. SMSC employs a unique systems level approach that incorporates a broad set of technologies and intellectual property to deliver differentiating products to its customers. The company is focused on delivering connectivity solutions that enable the proliferation of data in personal computers, portable consumer devices and other applications. SMSC’s feature-rich products drive a number of industry standards and include USB, MOST® automotive networking, Kleer® wireless audio, embedded system control and analog solutions, including thermal management and RightTouch™ capacitive sensing. SMSC is headquartered in New York and has offices and research facilities in North America, Asia, Europe and India. Additional information is available at