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Local fabs should rethink strategies, says PAM

Posted: 19 Mar 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:amplifiers? iic-china? PAM? Class-D audio power amplifier? Class-AB amplifiers?

The 12th International IC China Conference and Exhibition (IIC-China) featured the latest industry solutions from seasoned veteran players to younger, energetic local companies such as Power Analog Microelectronics Inc. (PAM). Though still among the emerging buds in the industry, the startup, which was established in 2004, gives its take on how local design houses should maneuver their way in the industry and resolve issues such as addressing cost and performance in IC development.

The latest among PAM's product portfolio is the 3W filterless stereo Class-D audio power amplifier that features extremely low EMI and conforms to FCC class B. According to PAM chief scientist Yuhai Mao, the device can equal, if not exceed, the performance of amplifiers from bigger companies in terms of EMI and output power.

PAM's Class-D amplifier has shown significant design improvements such as extending battery life for cellphones. Moreover, the company said that the output power of their Class-D amps is up to 75 percent compared with 25 percent output power of Class-AB solutions.

But despite this performance, the company was unable to gain many design wins under its belt because their solution is priced 20 cents higher than Class-AB amps from other companies.

Reflecting on this, the company stated that the outcome is strongly hinged on the basic law of price and demand: consumers will want to pay less for the same product. They noted that, another reason for this situation would be the lack of successful marketing strategy among local IC designers, a turf which veteran companies are addressing well.

Bin Li, COO of China Ace Awards 'Startup of the Year' Apexone Microelelctronics, concurred. He said that the biggest challenge faced by today's local IC design houses is international marketing and management. To gain more inroads with their technologies and to compete in the global arena, local companies should focus on how they implement their marketing strategy. Li said that some local IC companies have great products during IIC-China but fall short on their exhibition plan and product marketing.

- Richard Zhang
EE Times China

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