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Analog Devices (ADI) Buys Laser Technology to Boost LIDAR

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Leading semiconductor company Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI - Free Report) has acquired a solid-state laser beam steering technology from Vescent Photonics, Inc.

Founded in 2002, privately held Golden, CO-based Vescent Photonics develops and manufactures electro-optic and laser technologies.

Vescent Photonics’ non-mechanical beam steering technology can eliminate issues of reliability, high cost and large size associated with mechanical Light Imaging, Detection, And Ranging (LIDAR) systems.

What’s Retaining Analog Devices’ Interest?

Analog found this innovative technology appealing as it has a number of LIDAR and Radio Detection And Ranging (RADAR)-based Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) in its product portfolio.

LIDAR, RADAR and cameras are sensor technologies that today’s ADAS systems are increasingly using to provide advanced safety features like forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, blind spot detection and autonomous driving mode.

LIDAR adds distance measurement and object recognition features to vehicles. Scanning LIDAR systems can sense objects on or near the roadway, and use RADAR and cameras to fill blind spots.


Our Take

We see this acquisition as part of Analog Devices’ ongoing investments in products for the automotive market, mainly because the electronic content in automobiles, particularly in the safety and infotainment areas, is on the rise.

The Automotive electronics market continues to gain on the back of consumer demand for added technology and features in new vehicles and the transition to hybrid and electric vehicles.

Government-mandated requirements that all new vehicles be equipped with better safety features and environmental controls is also an important growth driver. Further, the fact that safety devices are moving from high-end to mainstream vehicles is a positive for the company.  

Management’s continuous collaboration with innovative brands, development of new technology along with strengthening in Europe and China should benefit the company. We expect the company to leverage its already strong market position to foray deeper into the automotive market.

Zacks Rank & Other Picks

Currently, Analog Devices has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector include NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA - Free Report) , Kimball Electronics, Inc. and Control4 Corp. (CTRL - Free Report) , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

For the current year, the consensus estimate for NVIDIA has increased 33.3% in the past 30 days. Estimates for Kimball Electronics and Control4 have gone up by 8.1% and 10%, respectively, over the same time frame. 

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