|Industry||Semiconductor industry and software industry|
|Founded||January 4, 1999|
|Rick Bergman, CEO|
|Products||Semiconductors for voice and audio processing (AudioSmart) and imaging (ImagingSmart)|
|Revenue||$112 million (FY14)|
Number of employees
Conexant Systems, Inc. was an American-based software developer and fabless semiconductor company. They provided products for voice and audio processing, imaging and modems. The company began as a division of Rockwell International, before being spun off as a public company. Conexant itself then spun off several business units, creating independent public companies which included Skyworks Solutions and Mindspeed Technologies.
The company was acquired by computing interface technology company Synaptics, Inc. in July 2017.
In 1996, Rockwell International Corporation incorporated its semiconductor division as Rockwell Semiconductor Systems, Inc. On January 4, 1999, Rockwell spun off Conexant Systems, Inc. as a public company. It was listed on the NASDAQ under symbol CNXT on January 4, 1999. At that time, Conexant became the world's largest, standalone communications-IC company. Dwight W. Decker was its first chief executive officer and chairman of its board of directors. The company was based in Newport Beach, California.
In the early 2000s, Conexant spun off several standalone technology businesses to create public companies. In March 2002, Conexant entered into a joint venture agreement with The Carlyle Group to share ownership of its wafer fabrication plant, called Jazz Semiconductor.
In June 2002, Conexant spun off its wireless communications division, which merged immediately following the spinoff with Massachusetts-based chip manufacturer Alpha Industries Inc. to form publicly held Skyworks Solutions Inc. In June 2003, Conexant spun off its Internet infrastructure business to create the publicly held company Mindspeed Technologies Inc. Mindspeed would eventually be acquired by Lowell, MA-based M/A-COM Technology Solutions.
In 2004, Conexant merged with Red Bank, New Jersey semiconductor company GlobespanVirata, Inc., with Conexant as the surviving corporation. Subsequently, GlobespanVirata's name was changed to Conexant, Inc.
In April 2008, Conexant announced the sale of its broadband media processing business, which provided products for satellite, cable and IPTV applications, to Dutch semiconductor manufacturer NXP Semiconductors NV.
In February 2011, an agreement was announced for San Francisco investment firm Golden Gate Capital to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Conexant at a price of $2.40 per share, and take the company private.
In February 2013, citing the burden of servicing debt related to multiple corporate acquisitions in the late 1990s, as well as the loss of revenue from the bankruptcy of key customer Eastman Kodak, Conexant filed for Chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. As part of the bankruptcy agreement, the company agreed on a restructuring plan with owners and its sole secured lender, QP SFM Capital Holdings Ltd. The reorganized company emerged from bankruptcy in July 2013. As part of the operational restructuring, the company moved its headquarters from Newport Beach to nearby Irvine, and focused on a narrower product portfolio, consisting of far-field voice input processing-based devices, video surveillance and printer systems on a chip (SoCs).
Since 2013, Conexant's silicon and software solutions for voice processing have been instrumental in the CE industry's proliferation of voice-enabled devices. The company's AudioSmart brand of voice input processors and embedded far-field processing software has become adopted by CE device manufacturers in numerous products ranging from Artificially Intelligent digital assistant devices and smart speakers to voice-enabled televisions and personal robots. In February 2016, it was announced that Korean electronics company LG Electronics was going to integrate Conexant's CX2092x far-field voice input processor system-on-chip (SoC) into two of its smart home products: a set top box and an IoT hub for controlling home electronic devices.
In March 2016, Conexant announced that their AudioSmart software was being integrated into Qualcomm's Hexagon digital signal processor family, a major component of Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor reportedly contained in over 1 billion smart devices.
In December 2016, Conexant and Amazon co-announced the AudioSmart 2-Mic Development Kit for Amazon AVS, a commercial-grade reference solution that streamlines the design and implementation of audio front end systems. Based on the Conexant AudioSmart(TM) CX20921 Voice Input Processor, the dual microphone board was designed to reduce time-to-market for new third-party voice-enabled Alexa devices.
On 11 May 2017 news appeared that security researchers discovered that Conexant's audio drivers were installing keylogger software, including many laptops sold by HP. The keylogger writes every single keystroke typed by a user (including passwords) and stores them in an unencrypted file on the user's computer.
On July 26, 2017, Synaptics completed its acquisition of Conexant Systems, LLC.
Conexant has two main product families: the AudioSmart brand of audio processors and the ImagingSmart brand of image processors and modems.
AudioSmart is a line of analog-to-digital converters (AD Converter), codecs, USB digital signal processor (DSP) codecs, voice/speech processors, and software that improves how audio signals are processed for electronic audio equipment.
ImagingSmart is a line of silicon and software to improve performance of image dependent electronic equipment, such as document and photo imaging controllers, digital video, and devices with integrated fax or data modems, such as printers or point of sale terminals.