Axign B.V. Closes Series B Round led by KBC Focus Fund New Audio Technology Poised to Boost Audio Quality […]
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Audio systems are currently designed for a specific product. Wouldn’t it be great that the entire audio system is adaptive so that it can be automatically optimized to create the best audio experience possible?
During recording sound is controlled by mixers and equalizers. At reproduction, a DSP is used to personalize the sound experience or to optimize cross-over frequency of loudspeakers. The loudspeaker, that ultimately produces the sound, is usually driven by an inflexible, non-adaptable amplifier. To overcome this inflexibility Axign developed a fully programmable amplifier controller to create the best sound experience.
The digital amplifier controller of Axign, AX5689, compares the signal at the loudspeaker terminal with the input signal. All disturbances in the loop, such as power supply ripple and non-linearity from the reconstruction filter are compensated real-time and suppressed thanks to the extraordinary high loop gain. The analog signal at the load is converted by a high performance low-latency feedback ADC. It combines a low-latency of several nano-seconds, for loop stability, with a high dynamic range up to 120dB for professional audio. With only the input stage of the ADC in the analog domain the AX5689 is highly digital and consequently has all the features like programmability, self-learning and robustness of digital signal processing. Due to the digital nature of the design it is nearly CMOS technology independent.
The Axign amplifier controller is fully digital which makes it insensitive for component tolerances.
This allows for high order loop filters, up to 7th order, to make a high open loop gain and steep filtering possible. Thanks to the ability to program the transfer function loop filter characteristics can easily be changed, for example noise shaping from 20kHz to 40kHz and vice-versa.
The signal at the load is directly converted into a digital bit stream.
This implies that the error signal, being input minus output, is digitally available. As a result, the feedback signal can be analyzed which provides information such as clipping or a short. Also an “open” can be detected based on the expected output noise level. It is even possible to detect unwanted signals such as possible oscillations. A DSP in the system can instantly change the loop filters based on this information.
The amplifier controller contains multiple high performance ADCs.
Next to voltage steering of a transducer, the current through the transducer can be measured. Also this information is available within a few nano-seconds and can be used for protection purposes or even to drive the transducer in current mode.
Feedback is taken at the load.
Therefore, all non-idealities such as distortion from the reconstruction filter or power supply disturbances, which is especially of interest for class-G/H systems, are strongly suppressed thanks to the high loop gain. If need, notches can be programmed at critical frequencies.
Axign, established in 2014, is a fabless semiconductor company focussing on delivering unbeaten and breakthrough analogue/mixed signal technology and IC’s for audio amplifier systems. The foundation for this is our knowledge of control systems, algorithms and mixed signal design experience. We are also technology enthusiasts with strong links to Twente University and ‘Kennispark Twente’ in Enschede. Most of our engineers have a degree in electronic engineering from Twente University. The management team consists of technology entrepreneurs having experience with the biggest players in the semiconductor industry and with major audio system manufacturers.
We are always looking at ways to push boundaries and tackle problems that seem impossible. It is this drive that has seen us push the technology at the heart of the digital feedback for audio systems and to realise its full potential. Our ambition is to create the best audio experience by providing solutions which are distinguished, adaptive and controlled.
Richard Langezaal is Director of Marketing at Axign with a bachelor degree in Electronic Engineering.
He has 25 years of experience in the semiconductor business where he held several technical and management positions in the audio amplifier group, and marketing positions for lighting solutions.
He has a broad knowledge on audio amplifier systems from a customer and chip producer perspective. Richard has a passion for audio, business development and sales. Richard has built his own 600W UcD class-D audio amplifier solution based on ICs from his own product portfolio.
Hans holds a MSc Electronics from Delft University of Technology;
His background is in wireless, audio semiconductors and volume products.
Hans built and sold multiple product companies.
Johan has a MsC Electronics.
His background is in semiconductor design, qualification and production management of volume products.
Jeroen holds a PhD in physics University of Twente.
His background is in semiconductors.
Jeroen has introduced various TV, µC, radio and audio products to the consumer and automotive markets.
As a start-up we are always on the lookout for new talent and often have specific openings to help us push boundaries and tackle problems that seem impossible. From low-latency ADCs and supreme control loop filters to embedded DSP cores, we really do cover the whole analog and digital domain.
Working on these highly innovative solutions you work with leading audio manufacturers all around the world. With us, you will be able to participate in developing the audio industry, have direct contacts with customers and a high degree of responsibility towards the development of new audio solutions.
We provide a dynamic, challenging and fun working environment, where there is support and encouragement for self-employment and personal growth.
If you think you are the ideal fit for any of the openings below, or believe you would be a perfect member of the Axign team then send us your application letter together with your résumé (CV).
Currently Axign is looking for a
As senior IC design lead engineer you will be leading and guiding our IC development team in the development of our current and future IC's, all from a technical perspective. It will involve all phases in the IC development cycle: from customer requirements to production and final relase of the product.
Skills and Qualifications
The ideal candidate should have:
- Background in either analog- or digital IC design with a minumum of 15 yrs experience
- Expertise of IC processes and physical semiconductor effects such as ESD and latch-up
- Experience with physical IC design and floorplanning
- Experience in IC verification & validation
- Experience with IC qualification and reliability
- Experience with IC production testing
Any audio knowledge or affinity is highly appreciated!
Besides the technical qualifications you should have the following skills:
- strong communication and leadership skills to be able to communicate and roll-out your your IC development knowlede across the team
- a startup mentality: can do, will do
- good teamplayer and able to work in a small team
If you are interested and you feel your profile matches the above, please drop an e-mail with your resume and motivation letter to email@example.com or call us if you want more information on the position.
Axign B.V. Closes Series B Round led by KBC Focus Fund
New Audio Technology Poised to Boost Audio Quality
Enschede, The Netherlands, February 26, 2020, Fabless semiconductor company, Axign B.V., which specializes in audio controller components, today announced that it has received an equity investment from KBC Focus Fund as the lead investor, together with Innovation Industries and Oost NL. This investment round enables Axign to mass produce and launch their new audio devices worldwide. Additionally, the new funding will support the introduction of next-generation devices for cost sensitive applications, such as active speakers and streaming audio systems.
Axign B.V. has developed a digital feedback audio chip that provides dramatically improves audio quality. The device, the AX5689, is fully qualified and ramping into mass production. According to Jeroen Langevoort, Axign CTO and founder, “The AX5689 enables audio system designers to more easily implement high sound quality in traditional high-end systems, and now enables superior audio quality in mid-range and lower-end systems, sound bars, connected streaming and smart speakers, as well as multi-channel AV receivers and TVs. All are idea product targets for the AX5689”
The company is excited to bring its audio controller chip into platform developments of world-renowned audio consumer brands and expects several of these brands to announce production volume programs later this year.
Rudi Severijns, Investment Director at KBC Focus Fund, explains: “The Axign technology brings the best audio experience to consumers in the mainstream and high-performance audio segment, but also allows brands to optimize overall system costs. We are excited to support the Axign team to market and sell the AX5689 flagship solution.”
According to Hans van Leeuwen, Axign CEO, “The feedback we have received from highly knowledgeable customer engineering and management sources is fantastic. The device is configurable and is perfect to use in a company-wide audio solution platform. It is available now in volume shipments.”
About KBC Focus Fund
The KBC Focus Fund is a € 50 million venture capital fund that focuses on advanced technology with a particular focus on semiconductor, nanotechnology and IoT. We focus on Belgium and surrounding countries where well-known expertise centers are located. The KBC Focus Fund leverages on the network and expertise of KBC Group and is managed by KBC Securities, with solid knowledge of the tech ecosystem with experienced teams in M&A, Finance, R&D, and Sales. The KBC Focus Fund aims to be long-term partners for entrepreneurs.
Contact: Rudi Severijns, Tel +32 2448 5279, Rudi.Severijns@kbcsecurities.be
About Oost NL
Oost NL is the development company of East-Netherlands. We are strengthening the regional economy by investing in entrepreneurs in the eastern part of the Netherlands. We allow entrepreneurs to innovate, invest and internationalize to accelerate their growth. Oost NL makes the necessary financing and its network, knowledge and expertise available to entrepreneurs. With funding from the central government and the provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel and the Twente region, Oost NL invested in more than 220 companies with total fund assets under management of more than 330 million euros. The province of Overijssel has made € 41.5 million available through the Innovatiefonds Overijssel to stimulate the regional economy and employment in the province and to promote innovation. Investments are made through loans and participations. Oost NL is fund manager. https://oostnl.com/en
About Innovation Industries
Innovation Industries is a leading venture capital firm that invests in hightech, medtech and agri-foodtech companies in The Netherlands. Innovation Industries maintains a hands-on management style, sharing its experience, knowledge and connections with the entrepreneurs. Portfolio companies are actively supported in order to strengthen the value proposition, improve the time-to- market, identify and realize global strategic partnerships and avoid the typical start-up pitfalls. With €250 million under management, Innovation Industries typically invests between €1-15 million in a single portfolio company but can provide follow-on funding of up to €25 million per company. Innovation Industries collaborates closely with the Dutch technology institutes.
Contact: Sander Verbrugge, Investment Director, firstname.lastname@example.org,
+31 6 2036 9419. www.innovationindustries.com.
1 The Innovation Industries is supported by InnovFin Equity, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) set up under the Investment Plan for Europe. The purpose of EFSI is to help support financing and implement productive investments in the European Union and to ensure increased access to financing.
Axign will be present at the CES 2020.
Axign will have a demoroom.
If you are interested in meeting Axign at the CES, please write an email to email@example.com or contact one of our team members
During the IFA, Axign will be present on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
If you want to meet us, please write an email to info@axign or contact one of our team members.
Please use this link to a video about Axign
Enschede, October 6, 2017. Axign announces that it has received an investment from Innovation Industries, Innovation Fund Twente and Innovation Fund Overijssel. With the equity investment, Axign will ramp-up the volume production of its first audio controller chip, the AX5689. With this device, manufacturers of consumer audio devices can increase the sound quality to premium audio levels at significantly lower cost.
Jeroen Langevoort, Chief Executive Officer of Axign states: “Streaming audio will become the future standard for music reproduction in homes. We believe that our product contributes to this trend in delivering unprecedented sound quality in small cabinets, whilst provide cost saving to the manufacturer. Reactions from consumers are fantastic once they hear music with our solution. It ranges from “unbelievable, open and transparent” to “I never heard such detail, although I listened to this record over and over again”.”
Nard Sintenie, General Partner at Innovation Industries says: “We believe that the technology of Axign will bring the best audio experience at lower cost for consumers in the mainstream market segment. We are excited about leveraging the high-tech network in the Netherlands to enable this unique breakthrough.”
Pieter Rhemrev, manager business unit Capital at Oost NL, considers Axign an example how companies can grow in the financial eco-system of the Twente region. “We’ve been involved in Axign since the beginning. We’ve always had confidence in the company and the quality of their chip. Thanks to our prior investment from Innovatiefonds Twente in 2015 Axign could begin production of their chip. Now, with this new investment, they will be able to start mass production. This development will have a positive impact on the job market in the region”, says Pieter Rhemrev.
Axign Controller Platform: opportunities for all stakeholders
The Axign Controller platform offers opportunities for both manufacturers in the Pro-Audio markets as in the mid-range to high-end consumer audio markets. The system achievements are second to none in comparison with other audio products on the market. In next generation products, Axign will build on its high audio quality and combining it with increasing functionality to maximize cost savings for audio equipment manufacturers.
September / October 2017:
Axign demonstrated the AX5689 at the XFI Premium Audio Show, September 30 and October 1, 2017.
The audience was amazed by the detailed and clear sound stage. Unbelievable, they said.
We invite you to listen to the AX5689 audio controller as well, and convince yourself.
Location: Koningshof, Veldhoven, The Netherlands.
The new AX5689 performance figures on system level are extremely good:
The listening experience is extremely good:
The perfect silence and incredible sound. Audio under your control.
Note that the 3 lines are on top of each other. The THD+N is limited by the low N, even at 6kHz.
In combination with a high damping factor (the output impedance stays below 2mOhm within the audio band) and its load independent behavior, loudspeakers will produce their best possible sound.
Axign has been at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Las Vegas, 5 – 8 January 2017. During the exhibition the features of Axign Audio Amplifier Controller IC were demonstrated. Thanks to the digital flexibility, robustness and feedback at the load, it is suitable for nearly every amplifier system.
Please find some interesting links on CES2017:
Axign developed a new demo board with even better sound performance.
It can be used for evaluation purposes under NDA.
This board can also be used as a reference design for your amplifier application.
Please contact Richard Langezaal, Director of Marketing or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. for further details.
After two years the location of the Moutlaan became too small for Axign. We found a new place in “de Spinnerij”, where more innovative start-up companies are located. It is an old spinning factory from the historic cotton and linen era of Enschede. The spinnerij dates from 1911. In its time it was a high risk innovative project of the young entrepreneur Ledeboer, who took the step to built a factory around the spinning mill powered by a steam engine. Today it is an inspiring environment to be working in.
Rigtersbleek-Zandvoort 10 – 2.11-2.12
7521 BE Enschede
The AX5689 – Audio Amplifier Controller IC – Product Brief is now available and can be downloaded by using the following link
The AX5689 is a sophisticated and versatile digital controller that enables feedback after the output filter such that it corrects for distortions caused by the supply, power stage and analog output filter. This product is still in development and all information in this datasheet is preliminary and subject to change. Information is confidential and should not be distributed. In the following link you can find the latest Product Brief of the AX5689 Audio Amplifier Controller IC.
The Axign Audio Amplifier Controller IC is in full verification mode. We are able to demonstrate the capabilities of our technology to main audio system producers within a few weeks from now.
Axign made a big step forward to enable our customers creating powerful balanced sound in every context.
Innovation Fund Twente has invested in Axign to ensure further development and market introduction of the Axign technology.
With these funding we are also able to get into direct communication with some world players in consumer electronics who are showing great interest in adopting our technology into their applications. Together with these customers we scheduled a tape-out for the second half of this year.
Axign is awarded a position in the TOP program from Kennispark Twente. This program provides high tech startups with both business and financial support.
Axign is closely working together with the Integrated Circuit Design Group from Bram Nauta at the University of Twente. Axign is also closely working together with Teledyne DALSA (formerly Axiom IC) Enschede in bringing the LLADC technology to the market. Axiom IC is originated from the Integrated Circuit Design Group form the University of Twente and is also a former participant in the TOP program.
We are proud that Axign is the second company that will receive a loan from the Proof of Concept Fund for the design and development of our innovation in high end audio amplifiers. The loan of €250.000 will be divided in two payments. The contract will be signed today.
With our invention we want to build a high end digital audio amplifier with smaller and cheaper components, whilst saving energy through raised efficiency in the chip. The loan will be used to elaborate on the invention and to develop a demonstrator to test if the design principles deliver the desired outcome in practice.
Axign has recently spun out of Axiom IC, a company that was acquired by the Teledyne DALSA in 2013.
Axign currently develops a controller chip for audio amplifiers.