HAUPPAUGE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SMSC (NASDAQ: SMSC), today announced that its Kleer® wireless audio technology has been selected by Daimler AG as part of the rear seat entertainment system for the company’s 2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class and S-Class models. These two Mercedes-Benz models are the first automobiles to implement Kleer technology and add to the growing list of products consumers can choose from to enjoy the high quality wireless audio that Kleer can offer.
Kleer technology transmits CD-quality digital wireless audio from two video screens on the back of the seats to multiple wireless headphones in both the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and S-Class models. Each screen can display different content and occupants can select which audio stream their headphones receive. Multiple occupants can share the same stream. The ultra low power consumption of Kleer technology ensures many hours of enjoyment before headphone battery charging is needed. Mercedes-Benz owners have the choice of using the brand’s headphones provided with the car or using their favorite third-party Kleer-based headphones or earbuds as they are available for example from AKG, Sennheiser or TDK.
“We are pleased to announce Daimler AG’s selection of Kleer technology in these two prestigious Mercedes-Benz models,” said Dr. Christian Thiel, Vice President and General Manager of SMSC's Automotive Information Systems group. “Kleer’s high quality audio, exceptional radio performance and industry-leading low power consumption make it an ideal choice for streaming wireless audio in the portable, home and automotive markets.”
Kleer wireless audio technology resolves the issues associated with analog Infra-Red (IR) technology, which has been the primary technology used in wireless automotive headphones to date. Analog IR transmission of audio suffers from low quality audio, interference from visible light sources like sunlight, and high power consumption. It also requires an uninterrupted line-of-sight path from transmitter to receiver. Kleer addresses these issues and adds the ability to have multiple audio streams transmitting in the vehicle simultaneously.
“Consumer demand for in-vehicle multimedia experiences continues to grow at a rapid pace, and wireless audio is a crucial element,” said Mark Fitzgerald, associate director, Global Automotive Practice at Strategy Analytics. “Wireless solutions that offer high quality audio and low power characteristics are positioned well in this expanding market.”
In addition to its high audio quality and low power consumption, Kleer technology also offers excellent Wi-Fi and Bluetooth co-existence capabilities. This means that the vehicle’s infotainment system, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled devices can all be used simultaneously in the vehicle with no interference.
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class and S-Class also feature the MOST® multimedia networking standard, which is the de facto standard for efficiently moving high-bandwidth infotainment content around the vehicle. MOST and Kleer are synergistic technologies. While MOST represents the backbone of the whole infotainment system and moves all signal streams between the devices, Kleer is the high quality wireless link for headphones and remote controls.
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, automobiles, 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 www.smsc.com.
In February 2010, SMSC acquired substantially all the assets and certain liabilities of Kleer Semiconductor Corporation, a designer of high quality, interoperable wireless audio technology addressing headphones and earphones, home audio/theater systems and speakers, portable audio/media players and automotive sound systems. Kleer technology powers the world’s best sounding wireless audio devices for use in the home, on the go and in the car. Kleer’s products are based on the first wireless technology to combine high quality audio and robust ISM band coexistence with low power consumption. Unlike Bluetooth and WiFi, Kleer technology’s sub-sampling radio architecture was designed from the ground up to communicate lossless, CD-quality, digital stereo audio over a robust 2.4GHz radio link while achieving several times the battery life of a comparable Bluetooth solution as well as audio coexistence with WiFi hot spots. Kleer technology is well suited for portable music players, iPod® and other personal media accessories, home audio/theater/TV systems, earbuds, headphones, speakers and automobile entertainment systems.
About SMSC’s Automotive Product Line
SMSC’s Automotive Information Systems is a supplier of TrueAuto™ infotainment and information semiconductor and software solutions to major automakers, including Audi, BMW, Daimler AG/Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai/Kia, Jaguar, Land Rover, Porsche, Toyota and Volvo. SMSC is a founding member of the MOST Cooperation, a cooperative of automakers, automotive systems architects and manufacturers and key components suppliers working to extend and refine the MOST® standard for the evolving requirements of automotive multimedia networking. Additional information is available at www.smsc-ais.com.
Forward Looking Statements
Except for historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in this announcement are forward-looking statements about expected future events and financial and operating results that involve risks and uncertainties. These uncertainties may cause our actual future results to be materially different from those discussed in forward-looking statements. Our risks and uncertainties include the timely development and market acceptance of new products; the impact of competitive products and pricing; our ability to procure capacity from our suppliers and the timely performance of their obligations, commodity prices, interest rates and foreign exchange, potential investment losses as a result of liquidity conditions, the effects of changing economic and political conditions in the market domestically and internationally and on our customers; our relationships with and dependence on customers and growth rates in the personal computer, consumer electronics and embedded and automotive markets and within our sales channel; changes in customer order patterns, including order cancellations or reduced bookings; the effects of tariff, import and currency regulation; potential or actual litigation; and excess or obsolete inventory and variations in inventory valuation, among others. In addition, SMSC competes in the semiconductor industry, which has historically been characterized by intense competition, rapid technological change, cyclical market patterns, price erosion and periods of mismatched supply and demand.
Our forward looking statements are qualified in their entirety by the inherent risks and uncertainties surrounding future expectations and may not reflect the potential impact of any future acquisitions, mergers or divestitures. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof and are based upon the information available to SMSC at this time. Such statements are subject to change, and the Company does not undertake to update such statements, except to the extent required under applicable law and regulation. These and other risks and uncertainties, including potential liability resulting from pending or future litigation, are detailed from time to time in the Company's reports filed with the SEC. Investors are advised to read the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, particularly those sections entitled “Other Factors That May Affect Future Operating Results” or “Risk Factors” for a more complete discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties.
SMSC, MOST and Kleer are registered trademarks and Smart Mixed-Signal Connectivity, TrueAuto and RightTouch are trademarks of Standard Microsystems Corporation.