A Full Custom Mixed ASIC allows the doubling of market share
Technologies used

Mixed Signal ASIC

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    331 Medical and Surgical Equipment and Orthopaedic Appliances
    323 Audio-frequency electric amplifiers; electric sound-amplifier sets
The company Amplifon S.p.a. with 411 employees designs implements and produces instruments for ear, nose and throat (ENT) since 1950. Its Biomedical Division (AMPLAID) with 4.5 MEUR annual turnover and 42 employees, designs and sells advanced hearing assessment equipment (audiometers) and it is also responsible of taking high level courses relating to the problems of hearing, ways to detect them and possible solutions. It. intends to integrate on a single proprietary chip all the circuits required to generate and control the audio signals in ENT instruments.
The actual electronic product are PCB based, but this technology is far from being competitive on the actual market. The mixed signal ASIC (46% digital, 54% analogue) solution results in low cost of the product, it is smaller, more reliable and more difficult to copy. The market share has been increased and the microelectronics knowledge acquired will allow the company to exploit it for future projects. It will also take benefit from the training on the job and from the experience acquired in complex management.
The total cost of the Application Experiment. is 150 KEUR and its duration has been 18 months. The estimated Return on Investment (ROI) is 43 times, over 4 years product life time, and the investment will be paid back in less than one year.
The lesson learned is the importance of the economical, technological and managerial information in addition to the strictly technical ones. This allow to define according to the complexity of the project and to the forecasted production volumes, which are the right technology and the right approach to be used for a specific problem.
Amplifon S.p.a.
Via Ripamonti 133,
20141 Milan,

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Mixed Signal ASIC technology provided Amplifon S.p.a. with the means of improving its products and enhancing its market position. You can also achieve significant benefits by acquiring the right microelectronics technology and utilising it in your product or manufacturing process. You can get help from FUSE to realise this.

FUSE is a technology transfer programme, funded by the European Commission to stimulate the wider use of microelectronics technologies by European enterprises to increase their competitiveness and enhance their economic growth. The demonstrator described here is one of many examples in the public FUSE portfolio covering the whole spectrum of microelectronics technologies and spanning a wide range of applications and industry sectors.

FUSE provides you with:

  • Best practice in acquiring specific microelectronics technologies and conducting full development projects through the FUSE portfolio of real life demonstrator documents.
  • Local training and expert support to plan your innovation realistically and help you conduct your project successfully.

Further information and support relating to this and other demonstrators can be obtained from the addresses below.

Further information   Guiding Technology Transfer Node
For further information and support regarding this case study, please contact a Technology Transfer Node (TTN) in your region.
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