CSR plc (CSR) today announced the acquisition of Belfast-based APT Licensing Ltd, (APT), following a successful three year collaboration under the CSR eXtension Partner Programme, which saw APT’s professional quality audio compression brought to consumers on CSR's wireless audio platforms. The acquisition enables a tighter integration of the apt-x low latency audio compression CODECs with CSR’s next generation audio products. The acquisition also enables CSR to substantially strengthen its offering in the growing real-time streaming audio market for mobile and wireless consumer applications and support its expansion into broader audio markets.
APT is renowned for non-destructive, transparent, audio compression solutions, which retain the full integrity of the original digital audio and are optimised for instant real-time audio streaming. The apt-x suite of audio compression algorithms has earned a reputation for some of the highest audio quality, combined with extremely low latency and strong resilience to bit errors, having been proven in wireless, broadcast and professional live performance applications.
APT joins CSR with existing IP licensing agreements in place with industry-leading consumer and technology brands, including Altec Lansing, Creative, Jaybird, and Sennheiser.
CSR’s CEO Joep van Beurden commented, “In acquiring APT, CSR is buying one of the industry's strongest audio IP portfolios and a 20 year heritage in audio expertise. The closer integration of APT’s IP with our own technologies will expand the market for its technology to more mainstream consumers and enable us to realise benefits that neither party could achieve independently. CSR is a leader in wireless audio, and the addition of APT will enable us to develop an exciting new generation of excellent quality, highly differentiated products that will further enhance the consumer experience. This will also serve to extend CSR’s capability in wireless audio platforms and help us to broaden our offering into new audio markets and revenue streams.”
The apt-x algorithm sets the base-rate quality much higher than many audio CODECs, offering a consistently excellent experience. apt-x is particularly suited to Bluetooth and its high performance has already gained it an excellent reputation, as demonstrated by numerous independent product reviews of currently shipping end products such as the Sennheiser PXC 310 Bluetooth headphones.
Another of APT’s latest CODECs, apt-x Lossless focuses on delivering the ultimate in audio quality providing an uncompromised user experience; its ultra low latency and low power consumption make it suitable for portable, battery-driven applications requiring the highest audio quality.
APT has been working on the development of scalable CODECs that can be adapted for specific acoustic environments, battery life savings, latency and error resilience. CSR sees great potential in this technology which offers the opportunity to create new, fully adaptive audio platforms.
APT and CSR started working together in 2007 when APT became part of CSR's eXtension Partner Programme. The Programme delivers high quality audio enhancements to CSR's Bluetooth technologies, and apt-x CODECs have been offered as options on CSR's powerful digital signal processor (DSP) in its BlueCore multimedia products. CSR now embeds this Kalimba DSP into the vast majority of its products, and high quality stereo audio has become an essential part of today's mobile devices and consumer electronics.
Other solutions from the APT suite of audio CODECs include apt-x Standard, which is widely known as the grandfather of broadcast and distribution CODECs and has two decades of successful implementations under its belt. apt-x Enhanced and apt-x Live CODECs were developed for the professional and broadcast audio markets. These technologies have now migrated into consumer electronics where there is an obvious increase in demand for superior audio performance.
"We're very proud of what APT has achieved over the last 20 years and are delighted to be joining CSR in what is a very positive step towards the increased proliferation of the high quality CODECS, into broader mobile and wireless consumer applications,” said Noel McKenna, CEO of APT. “Both CSR and APT's engineering teams share the same passion for audio and have proven their ability to collaborate successfully over the last three years. Through even closer integration of our CODECs with CSR's wireless technology I see a very exciting future ahead."
All seventeen of APT’s highly qualified and experienced full-time staff will become an integral part of CSR’s audio platform team, and CSR plans to retain the apt-x product brand.