With a vision to leverage the intersection of innovation, design, and engineering to simplify people’s lives by simplifying their interactions with technology, and thus, giving them more time to spend on the things that are important in life, Azoteq was built.
Azoteq is on a mission to add new capabilities that allow its customers to differentiate their products. With a focus on innovation, the company pushes the forefront of sensing technology in terms of value for money/performance paradigm. Today, Azoteq is a pioneer in multi-sensor single-chip solutions, making its customer’s products more efficient, smaller and more competitive.
Being a fables semiconductor company, Azoteq initially developed the LightSense™ range of products that enabled intelligent control for LED flashlights and headlamps. In 2004, the company added a second product line, ProxSenseTM, to address the emerging touch and proximity markets. 2013 saw the release of Azoteq’s third product line. The PowerSense™ product line includes a range of AC LED lighting solutions. The ProxFusion® product line is Azoteq’s latest addition and is the world’s first multi-sensor, single chip solution.
Azoteq’s multi-sensor family integrates up to six different sensors, including capacitive, inductive, hall-effect, infrared, passive infrared and temperature sensing, on a single IC. This allows clients to save on manufacturing cost, board space, current consumption, and supply chain management. By designing multiple sensors on a small area, more functions can be delivered per product. Azoteq’s latest IC is programmable, offering clients shorter lead times and more flexibility when designing the user interface.
Azoteq’s multisensor solutions allow its clients to integrate more functions into a smaller package, resulting in smaller, lower powered wearable and hearable devices. Techniques for force sensing, contactless buttons, non-ITO screens and the likes are novel enablers for next generation consumer goods. In fact, it is definitely a 2 + 2 is bigger than 4, a situation when the information from the various sensors is combined to yield better results leading to better decisions.
A Seasoned Inventor & Entrepreneur
The ingenious mind behind the inception of the company was its President and CEO, Dr. Frederick Bruwer. Dr. Bruwer has a passion for electronics, physics and a vision to design technology solutions for every application in every household. He founded Azoteq in 1998 with a visionary strategy to develop affordable intelligent switches on silicon. Today, Dr. Bruwer is the South African inventor with the most US Patents issued and Azoteq ranks in the Top5 US Patent holders of all South African enterprises including Universities and big government enterprises.
During his early career, Dr. Frederick Bruwer was one of the youngest ever engineering professors at the University Of Pretoria School Of Engineering. During the 1980’s, he founded a company called Nanoteq, where he was instrumental in the project to develop and patent the Keeloq® technology for securing remote keyless entry (RKE). Keeloq® became a de facto world standard for RKE and the technology was sold to Microchip Technology (NASDAQ:MCHP) in 1995. Dr Bruwer was appointed as VP for the Secure Data Products division and was responsible for the successful transfer of the Keeloq technology and business to Microchip.
Turning Concepts into Reality
Having more than 20 years of adequate experience, Azoteq has gained the skills and knowledge in the fields of capacitive sensing and sensor fusion to turn concepts into reality. The comprehensive intellectual property in patents, design and know-how also adds value to its endeavors and serves as a solid foundation when designing new technology that targets specific applications. The company has an elite team of highly skilled micro-electronic and electronic engineers, who work in a creative environment where agility and innovation form the backbone of the company culture.
Besides, Azoteq was the first to implement a non-ITO touch screen in the mainstream Xiaomi Mi3 band. It was the first to contribute to 30-day recharge cycles on a major wearable, purely through achieving sub 2uA active touch standby. Today, it is the first to bring novel contactless and inductive based force sensing solutions to wearables and hearables.
The Preferred Sensor Solution Provider
Azoteq has always been at the forefront of novel and highly accurate capacitive sensing techniques. Its IP portfolio has been expanded in the past 5 years to leverage this experience to achieve excellent sensitivity and SNR’s from Hall-effect, IR, PIR, ambient light sensors and inductive sensors as well. Power consumption has always been a critical design consideration in its wearable and other battery powered consumer products, making Azoteq the preferred sensor solution to provide longer periods between recharging of batteries.
Continuing to Innovate
Azoteq has made major inroads on the international consumer goods market, despite being a small-to-medium sized enterprise competing against multi-billion dollar players. Moreover, the company also serves some of the biggest brands in the world. It will strive to keep the “small company” culture with an agile and can-do attitude. Not only this, it will also continue to innovate and push the technology boundaries to bring world class and leading edge technology into consumer products. Sensing technologies like MEMS are on the immediate roadmap of the compant for integration and use with the ProxFusion® family.