Phonak, NXP Team on Ultra Low Power Radio Chip

NXP, the independent semiconductor company founded by Philips, announced a single chip ultra low power radio for use in hearing systems developed in collaboration with Phonak. The new ultra low power radio is currently being integrated into Phonak’s portfolio of CORE-based hearing systems and wireless accessories.

“Working with a leading semiconductor player such as NXP has enabled Phonak to rapidly develop this new chip for our hearing systems,” said Hans Leysieffer, Vice President of R&D. “Combining cutting edge technology and expertise in ultra low power embedded software architecture enables Phonak to offer unparalleled hearing performance for hearing system wearers.”

“Medical electronics is one of the fastest growing areas of semiconductor development and becoming increasingly important for NXP,” said Rene Penning de Vries, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of NXP Semiconductors. “At NXP we value customer engagement and working with the leading players in their field to use technology innovation to help develop new insightful and engaging technology. Our ultra low power solutions, based on magnetic induction radio technology and CoolFlux DSP[tm], were the cornerstones for this breakthrough project.”

“This cooperation between Phonak & NXP illustrates how two companies can leverage know-how and individual competencies to create a winning solution,” said Antoine Delaruelle, senior director and manager of Ultra Low Power Solutions, NXP Semiconductors. “Our chip does support a high data rate of up to 298 kbps and bi-directional communication, enabling novel applications such as stereo audio streaming and binaural processing. Within this particular project, miniaturization was a key requirement and we worked closely with Phonak’s engineers to develop a highly integrated solution, utilising embedded non-volatile memory and supporting direct operation from a single battery.”

NXP Semiconductors is currently expanding its portfolio of ultra low power IC solutions and working with customers in the high demand areas such as Healthcare to help create unique devices for the market.

About Phonak
Headquartered near Zurich, Switzerland, Phonak has developed, produced and globally distributed state-of-the-art hearing systems and wireless devices for over 50 years. The combination of expertise in hearing technology, mastery in acoustics and strong cooperation with hearing care professionals allows Phonak to significantly improve people’s hearing ability and speech understanding and therefore their quality of life. Phonak offers a complete range of digital hearing instruments, along with complementary wireless communication systems. With 2,500 employees worldwide, Phonak drives innovation and sets new industry benchmarks regarding miniaturization and performance.

About NXP Semiconductors
NXP is a leading semiconductor company founded by Philips more than 50 years ago. Headquartered in Europe, the company has about 33,500 employees working in more than 20 countries and posted sales of USD 6.3 billion (including the Mobile & Personal business) in 2007. NXP creates semiconductors, system solutions and software that deliver better sensory experiences in TVs, set-top boxes, identification applications, mobile phones, cars and a wide range of other electronic devices.