March 22, 2021 Axign BV, a Dutch based fabless semiconductor company, specialized in audio controller components, raised more than […]
Axign is very proud to deliver their unique Post-Filter-Feedback amplifier technology in the Harman-Kardon Citation Amp that is introduced in […]
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.
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).
If you have an engineering degree in analog IC design, digital design or work currently as a test or application engineer feel free to contact us.
Current vacancies: Product Marketing Manager
March 22, 2021
Axign BV, a Dutch based fabless semiconductor company, specialized in audio controller components, raised more than $10M in a venture round led by FORWARD.one. The existing investors (Innovation Industries, KBC Focus, Oost NL and Axign Founder & Business Angels) also participated in this round, as well as the Dutch governmental organization RVO who granted an Innovation Credit.
This investment round is a clear proof point of the strong commercial traction as well as an underpinning of the recognized potential of the core technology of Axign. The funding will allow the company to accelerate commercialization further and to develop their next generation audio chip for battery operated products, including earbuds and smart speakers. Axign technology will disrupt the fast-growing volume markets of earbuds by offering its unique Active Noise Cancellation technology and will bring voice control of smart speakers to a next level. Next to that Axign will use the funding to strengthen its worldwide commercial and field application organization to drive the fast-growing customer pipeline of high-volume A-brand audio players.
“Axign has transformed into the revenue growth phase by being selected by multiple high-volume customers for products like online audio streaming, active speaker party speakers, soundbars and voice controlled smart speakers. We are proud to see more and more Axign enabled audio products for sale across the world” said Axign’s CEO Paul Sandberg.
“FORWARD.one is very excited about the Axign technology which greatly improves sound quality of smart audio devices while making them more energy efficient and cheaper to produce. Together with a very capable commercial and highly skilled technical team this results in strong commercial traction that Axign sees in a fast-growing market and which makes Axign a good fit for our high-tech fund” said FORWARD.one partner Arjan Göbel.
“We are supporting Axign again in this funding round as we are convinced that its unique and patented ‘Digital Loop’ technology brings an extremely cost-effective solution combined with a ‘best-in-class’ audio experience to consumers in the mainstream audio segment. Axign operates in a really booming market and multiple leading audio brands are embracing the Axign technology with several products entering the market right now” said Rudi Severijns, Investment Director at KBC Focus Fund.
Axign’s mission is to create the ultimate audio experience for high volume products at lowest system cost enabled by Axign’s disruptive innovative & patented inventions. Axign is based in The Netherlands with offices in Enschede (headquarter) and Nijmegen.
Paul Sandberg – CEO
FORWARD.one is a venture capital fund investing in high tech startups and scale-ups in the Netherlands. The €40m fund is managed by a team of financial experts and successful tech entrepreneurs with the skills to help accelerate growth.
About KBC Focus Fund
KBC Focus Fund is a €50 million venture capital fund that invests in advanced technologies with a particular emphasis on semiconductor, nanotechnology and IoT. The focus is on Belgium and surrounding countries where well-known expertise centers are located. KBC Focus Fund leverages on the network and expertise of KBC Group and is managed by KBC Securities, which has a solid knowledge of the tech ecosystem in Belgium and beyond, with experienced teams in Venture Capital, M&A, Corporate Finance, and Research & Sales. As part of the KBC Group, the KBC Focus Fund aims to be long-term partners for entrepreneurs.
Axign is very proud to deliver their unique Post-Filter-Feedback amplifier technology in the Harman-Kardon Citation Amp that is introduced in Q4 2019.
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, email@example.com,
+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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com. 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.