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SigmaTel (SGTL delisted from NASDAQ after 2008 acquisition by Freescale Semiconductor) is an electronics company located in Austin, TXmarker, which designs mixed audio signal processors, and controller chips for multifunction peripherals. SigmaTel was Austin's largest IPO as of 2003 when it became publicly traded on NASDAQ. It does not provide consumer support for its devices directly; rather, OEM that make use of their products provide support, and are supplied with the necessary information and device drivers.

Type Subsidiary
Founded 1993
Location USAmarker
Website (No longer exists)
The first-generation iPod shuffle used the SigmaTel STMP35xx and its Software Development Kit v2.6. Over 150 portable mp3 player models use the STMP35xx highly-integrated low cost audio System On a Chip (SOC) that requires no external RAM, voltage converters, battery chargers, headphone capacitors, Analog to Digital Converters, Digital to Analog Converters, or amplifiers, and over 100 million such portable audio player SOCs were sold from 2002-2006. Audio quality was rated as best in industry. SDK3.1x added Microsoft DRM10 support enabling services interoperability such as Rhapsody, Napster, and Yahoo Music Engine subscription audio services. Over 100 portable audio products are based on that STMP35xx SDK3. A few products using that SigmaTel SOC and software include the Dell Ditty, Creative muvo, Philips, etc.

Its line of audio CoDec chips has been found in Dell laptops, several new Dell desktops, the Sony Vaio notebook, and numerous other audio playback devices.SigmaTel sold its PC audio business in mid-2006 to Integrated Device Technology, Inc for approximately USD $80 million and so no longer derives revenue from sales of these chips.

At one point, SigmaTel chips were found in over 70% of all MP3 devices sold on the market. However, SigmaTel lost its last iPod socket in 2006 when it was not found in the next generation iPod shuffle. PortalPlayer was their largest competitor, but were bought by Nvidiamarker (NVDA) after PortalPlayer's chips lost their socket in the iPod. SigmaTel was voted "Best Place to Work in Austin 2005" by the Austin Chronicle.

In July 2005, SigmaTel acquired the rights to different software technologies sold by Digital Networks North America (a subsidiary of D&M Holdings, and owner of Rio Audio).

SigmaTel provides ready-to-use SOC software to equipment manufacturers to drive its current and next generation portable audio and video player chips. Formats decoded include MP3, WMA, WAV, VORBIS, and on STMP37xx and 36xx SOCs: MPEG4 in AVI, WMV, etc. Audio Recording and Encoding to MP3 & WAV formats are supported from microphone, SigmaTel FM IC (STFM1000) digital audio source, or line-in. Printed Circuit Board (PCB) layouts and reference schematics are provided to OEM and Original Development Manufacturing (ODM) customers.

After having the right to physically destroy Actions Semiconductor products at the U.S. border for IP infringement, SigmaTel recently settled all patent litigation and entered into Cross-License agreement with the Zhuhai, China based Actions Semiconductor Co. Ltd [195847]. Both companies also agreed to not pursue possible third party IP infringements or new legal actions against each other and their respective customers for three years. Consequently, all of Actions' current and future products may now be imported into the U.S. market without restrictions.

The company also won a spot in Samsung televisions. Sales of the company's SGTV5800 TV Audio solution, which can be used in analog, digital and hybrid televisions Samsung have been ramping. SigmaTel introduced the SGTV5900 which is anticipated to supplant the SGTV5800.

In mid 2007 the company introduced. QVGA 320x240 portable video decode.

SigmaTel's equity has traded as low as $100 million below book value. Its peak share price was $45 and its day1 IPO max share price was around $18. Austin's second biggest IPO was the spinoff of Freescale Semiconductor by Motorola Corporation.

On February 4, 2008, Freescale Semiconductor announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire SigmaTel for $110 million.The agreement closed in the second quarter of 2008 and all SGTL shares were purchased by Freescale for $3 each.

Freescale continued developing and selling the STMP portable AV SOC product line which is currently the ARM9 based STMP37xx & STMP36xx AV SOCs, and the DSP56k based STMP35xx portable AV SOC. Product info is on Freescale's ARM-based controller site. Freescale's i.MX2 ARM9 and i.MX3 ARM11 based multimedia SOCs product line have been integrated with the STMP product line resulting in a strong portable multimedia product portfolio.

On February 25, 2009, Freescale laid off 70% of the former Sigmatel team as part of a company-wide reduction in force. No new products under the old Sigmatel design teams will be created. A 'skeleton crew' was chosen to stay and support existing OEM customers that are using the existing chips until the chips are 'End Of Lifed'.


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