Irish engineers win 20pc of total US patents for chip giant Analog Devices

29 Mar 2016

Celebrating its 40th year in Limerick Analog was one of the first US companies to develop a base in Ireland which led the way for other multinationals to locate here

Nearly 20pc of the total US patents held by chip giant Analog Devices were granted to Irish-based engineers, the company said today, as it marks its 40th year in Limerick.

Analog Devices International (ADI) in Limerick is home to the company’s European R&D centre and a global manufacturing facility.

The company employs more than 1,200 people in Ireland.

As well as being 40 years in Limerick, Analog celebrated its 50th anniversary as a company last year and this year also marks 15 years in Cork, where it employs 100 people engaged in R&D.

“Our Limerick global operation manufacturing facility enables ADI’s overall success by providing leading-edge capabilities and technologies to our business units,” said Denis Doyle, general manager of ADI Global Manufacturing.

“We are addressing customer demands by delivering high-performance signal processing platforms that ‘sense, measure, interpret and connect’ across a wide variety of applications for industrial, healthcare, consumer, communications infrastructure and automotive electronics markets.”

Analog was one of the first US multinationals to locate in Ireland


High-end manufacturing of chips in the cleanrooms of Analog Devices in Limerick

Globally, the company has annual revenues of $3bn and 20pc of revenue is invested back in R&D.

So far, some 300 US patents have been granted to Analog’s inventors in Ireland, which is nearly 20pc of the total US patents held by the company and the highest number for tech companies in Ireland.

Analog was one of the first US companies to develop a base in Ireland, which led the way for other multinationals to locate here.

This was helped by other factors like access to third level institutions and the strong graduate talent pool, a nearby international airport and the Irish State’s open approach to business.

“The connectivity provided by Shannon Airport remains a major ingredient for the multinational industry in the midwest. Allied to an advanced telecommunications infrastructure, this gateway to global markets from Ireland is vitally important to future investment,” said Doyle.

Investing in education across the mid-west region since 1976, Analog Devices earned a reputation for long-term retention of graduates and nurturing top talent.

More than 80pc of Analog’s workforce in Ireland is educated to degree level, with a significant proportion holding master’s and PhD degrees.

Vincent Roche, who started with Analog’s Limerick operation, is ADI’S President and CEO, only the third CEO since the company was founded 50 years ago.

An innovation-fuelled organisation

“A great talent pool has been compiled over 40 years, many of whom have gone to other parts of our business in the US and around the world,” said Leo McHugh, vice president of Instrumentation Products at ADI.

“As an innovation-fuelled organisation, ADI needs a constant supply of highly-educated engineers and we continue to build on our success over the years by hiring top graduates from Ireland and abroad.”

To ensure that the pipeline of skilled engineers continues to flow, Analog has forged strong links with academia, in particular with Tyndall Institute Cork, University of Limerick, University College Cork and Limerick Institute of Technology and collaborates on a number of research projects.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years