When Analog Devices said it would stop developing PC audio codecs this summer, we expected the move to empower other audio codec providers. That's exactly what's happened, but not quite in the way one would have thought: Conexant has signed an exclusive agreement to "manufacture, distribute, and support ADI's PC audio codec product line."
The deal applies to SoundMAX audio solutions for desktop and notebook PCs, which will now complement Conexant's audio offerings. ADI tells us passing the torch to Conexant is the best way to keep serving its customers, and it expects Conexant to "continue the level of support that is necessary and further develop features required by the PC industry."
As part of the agreement, ADI's PC audio engineering support team has also joined Conexant's ranks. The team will be part of the rival firm's Imaging and PC Media group, and it will operate out of Conexant's Waltham, Massachusetts location. At least for now, the move may preserve the current level of diversity in the PC audio codec arena, since SoundMAX should keep coexisting with other solutions from Conexant, Realtek, and others.