AMS boosts active noise cancelling with Incus buy

December 20, 2016 // By Peter Clarke
AMS AG (Premstaetten, Austria) is buying Incus Laboratories Ltd. (Stokenchurch, England), a developer of intellectual property related to digital active noise cancellation in headphones and earphones.

The purchase price has not been revealed but will include the entire Incus business and IP portfolio. The founders of Incus and the executive management team will transfer to AMS and AMS will continue to operate the existing IP licensing business, the company said.

Incus technology is based on electroacoustic mathematical modelling across the signal-processing chain from the internal JFET buffer transistor in the electret microphone to the physical acoustic structure of the earphone. Software is used introduce phase-shifts that attenuate noise across a broad-frequency range and includes compensation for latency introduced by the DSP circuitry. Incus' IP also supports the use of advanced speakers and micro-speakers for outstanding Hi-Fi quality audio reproduction.

Incus management team includes: CEO David Monteith, director of research Alastair Sibbald, and CTO Robert Alcock. All three worked at companies in the same area of psycho-acoustic modelling; the the spin-off of Sensaura Ltd. from Thorn EMI Central Labs and Sonaptics Ltd. Sonaptic, founded in 2003, was sold to Wolfson Microelectronics Ltd. in 2007.

The acquisition of Incus strengthens AMS' position in active noise cancellation where AMS already claims to be the leading supplier of analog ANC to headphone and earphone OEMs. Incus brings a design tool suite and acoustic characterization technology that will allow digital ANC that is easier for OEMs to implement by eliminating the need to configure and assemble a hardware passive filter network for each headphone or earphone design.

Incus is the latest in a series of acquisitions made by AMS during 2016 (see 20 deals that shaped analog, MEMS and sensors in 2016 ).

Related links and articles:

www.ams.com

www.incus.com

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