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Analog Devices Acquires Symeo to Make Positioning Radar More Precise

Analog Devices announced that it would acquire Siemens’ spinout Symeo as it attempts to push higher performance and higher precision radar systems into the fast growing industrial and automotive sectors. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Symeo, which has developed signal processing algorithms and radar systems that can be used to monitor forklifts driving around factory floors or buses entering a transportation depot, will join the Autonomous Transportation and Safety business unit of Analog Devices. The division is responsible for the company’s 24 GHz and 77 GHz radar.

Chris Jacobs, vice president of the Autonomous Transportation and Safety business unit, said in a statement that the combination of the company’s existing products and “Symeo’s system and algorithm expertise will pave the way for higher performance radar solutions, enabling more accurate sensing in autonomous systems.”

Symeo’s local positioning radar was developed by Siemens for both indoor and outdoor applications over a decade ago. The 5.8 GHz radar technology provides between two and seven inches of accuracy and is unaffected by precipitation, dirt and grime, dust, vibrations or sunlight, according to the Munich, Germany-based company.

Symeo has also designed proprietary sensor fusion algorithms to crosscheck the radar technology with global positioning system data from GNSS and GPS satellites. The company has also developed embedded software to work with its sensors as well as a software platform for monitoring automated industrial cranes.

Analog Devices has been trying to ride revenue growth in its industrial business. Last month, the company said that it had generated about $743 million from sales of industrial products in the first quarter, representing 49 percent of its $1.52 billion revenue total. The business was 87% higher than the same quarter last year, partly because of its acquisition of Linear Technology.

Other companies are targeting so-called three-dimensional radar at the industrial market. Vayyar Imaging, based outside of Tel Aviv, Israel, recently closed a $45 million funding round to develop the high-resolution radar technology for taking stock of a car’s immediate surroundings and mapping the interior of factories.

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