Irish firm in landmark consumer electronics deal

17 May 2007

An Irish semiconductor technology company has struck a landmark technology deal with a global electronics giant that will see its technology deployed in many of the world’s future high-definition (HD) TV, video-on-demand and gaming systems.

Balbriggan-based RedMere Technologies has signed an agreement with the world’s largest connector manufacturer Molex to incorporate its chip-in-a-cable technology into high-performance HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) cable assemblies.

Future HDMI cable assemblies from Molex will incorporate RedMere’s RM1689 cable booster chipset. HDMI is emerging as one of the predominant new technologies that will replace SCART cables and will enable the next generation of flatscreen TVs and other home entertainment systems.

RedMere is one of Ireland’s fastest-growing indigenous electronics companies targeting the burgeoning consumer electronics market.

In recent weeks the company raised an additional US$5m in venture capital, bringing to US$13.5m the amount it has raised in the last six months. The top-up investment in Balbriggan-based RedMere was led by Edgestone Capital Partners, a Canadian private equity firm, along with additional reinvestment by the original investors including Celtic House Venture Partners.

RedMere’s RM1689 technology can be embedded inside an HDMI connector to provide cable manufacturers with a low cost, high performance product.

“RedMere’s RM1689 technology addresses both timing skew and limited bandwidth issues in high-frequency environments, which enables Molex to offer consumers some exciting new options in high-performance HDMI cable assemblies,” said Hirokazu Suzuki, senior director of engineering for Molex Incorporated.

“Additionally, the RM1689 enables us to solve cable length and performance trade-offs, as well as address HDMI v1.3 test and compliance.”

According to In-Stat, HDMI is experiencing record growth with HDMI-enabled device shipments predicted to grow to 78pc per year through to 2010. Applications include HD TVs, set-top boxes, projection systems, DVD recorders, Media PCs and other consumer devices.

The companies expect the new technology will be attractive to consumers who are looking to purchase longer HDMI cable assemblies with reliable performance to connect video game consoles such as Sony’s Playstation 3 or Microsoft’s Xbox to display products.

“Our RM1689 cable booster was specifically designed to enhance the signal quality while simultaneously reducing cable manufacturing costs,” said Peter Smyth, RedMere CEO (pictured).

“We are delighted that our MagnifEye-enabled RM1689 will further strengthen Molex’s position as a premier supplier of high-performance I/O connector systems and an innovator for next-generation mobile cable assemblies,” Smyth said.

By John Kennedy