Addressing one of the most important, complex, and dynamic commercial issues impacting the global Pro AV industry, Audinate (ASX:AD8) announced the actions the company has been taking to minimize and mitigate the impact of global supply chain issues. In addition, as part of its strategy to ensure availability of product, the company announced next generation, drop-in replacements for its popular Brooklyn and Fremont modules.
Semiconductor analysts report that the global supply chain challenge is largely a demand issue more than a supply issue. It’s exacerbated in lower-volume industries like Pro AV because chip allocations are being diverted to large volume clients/industries like consumer electronics, automotive and military.
The supply chain challenges facing Pro AV manufacturers took on additional complexity and intensity in the Q3-21 when the supply of particular chips used widely in the AV industry, suddenly and nearly completely became unavailable.
“An already challenging situation became even worse during Q3-21 and left manufacturers scrambling to find solutions,” explains Mathew Mornington-West, Chief Operating Officer of Audinate. “Parts that weren’t supposed to be end-of-life for another five years were suddenly no longer available.”
Audinate explains that despite these challenges, the company has shipped more units of its chips, cards, and modules (CCM) through May 2022 than through the same time period in the prior year.
“There is a delta between reality and perception,” states Mornington-West. “Audinate has a highly qualified, well-connected team of professionals that negotiated with chip manufacturers to secure supply on behalf of Audinate, and also on behalf of our OEM partners.”
To counter the impact of global supply chain issues, Audinate has instituted the programs below. Several of these strategies were implemented in advance of recent chip shortages and have served to significantly mitigate the impact of a very challenging supply environment:
- Industry Representation to Chip Manufacturers: Audinate has strategic partnerships with leading chip suppliers including Xilinx, NXP and SkyWorks (formerly Silicon Labs), and continuously lobbies for increased allocation of chips on behalf of the over 500 Dante manufacturer licensees. This strategy has been successful in procuring inventory for several key parts for Audinate and its licensees. It has also allowed the company to ramp up manufacturing of several Dante products in March 2022.
- Replacement Products: Today, Audinate announced Brooklyn 3, the next generation, drop-in replacement for the popular Brooklyn 2 module, as well as Fremont 3, the replacement for the Dante AV “Fremont” module. Samples for both products will be available in the coming months, and production is expected to start in October this year. Audinate is also well advanced in evaluating alternative options for its Broadway and Ultimo products.
- Software: Audinate already had strong adoption of its software offerings with Dante Embedded Platform and Dante IP Core, and that adoption has only accelerated in recent months as manufacturers look to reduce the number & type of chips they need to procure and diversify their designs with different chip manufacturers. Dante Embedded Platform is a Linux software solution running on off-the-shelf ARM & x86 processors from a variety of chip manufacturers, while the IP Core allows manufacturers to run the Dante image on a variety of pre-qualified FPGAs.
“These are challenging times for the AV Industry, and electronics manufacturers at large,” states Mornington-West. “However, we continue to take aggressive actions to ensure availability of Dante solutions for our manufacturing partners. I’m confident that the combination of lobbying for more supply on behalf of the industry, designing next generation products based on more widely available parts, and migrating customers to software-based solutions will give manufacturers multiple options for enabling Dante in their products, and will ensure that customers continue to get access to the leading AVoverIP solution.”