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Hearing Aid Implants in 5 minutes ?

Hearing Aid Implants in 5 minutes ?

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Posted by HHIssues on August 12, 2000 at 09:37:57:

SANTA ANA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 9, 2000--

Extreme Low Power, Audio Fidelity, and Battery Life of Up to Six Months Cited in the InSonus Implantable Hearing Aid Device.

Microsemi Corporation (Nasdaq:MSCC) today announced that it has been selected by InSonus Medical Inc., Newark, Calif., to design and manufacture the application specific audio amplifier circuit (ASIC) for its advanced family of hearing aid devices based on patented InSonus technology.

InSonus hearing products, designed to be inconspicuous and minimally invasive, are implanted within the ear canal in a five-minute non-surgical procedure.

In addition to size restrictions, the new ASIC must meet demanding specifications of high audio performance from a 1 Volt power supply, and provide extended battery life. Microsemi will create the InSonus circuit at its Micro Power Products Division in Carlsbad, Calif., drawing on more than 15 years experience in low power analog and mixed signal audio circuit design.

"We're particularly pleased to become part of the InSonus development team as they move their innovative concepts from the clinical research stage into the commercial marketplace," said Ron Courtois, Micro Power Products general manager. "We see InSonus as offering differentiated products for the rapidly growing market of hearing-impaired consumers."

InSonus Medical Inc. is a venture backed start-up developing innovative hearing devices by combining ultra low power implant technologies with high fidelity audio to produce the world's most efficient and smallest hearing enhancement devices weighing less than 1 gram. These ultra-miniature devices will operate on battery power estimated at only 10% of conventional hearing aids. The unique ultra low power design allows the hearing device to operate continuously inside the ear canal for up to 6 months before battery replacement.

InSonus is also developing a proprietary fitting system which allows a medical doctor to dispense advanced hearing products in a single visit of under 1 hour. This rapid fitting process is in contrast to conventional methods which require multiple visits spanning a period of 3-4 weeks. InSonus' proprietary products provide alternatives for the growing hearing impaired population who are generally dissatisfied with or unable to utilize conventional hearing aid products, according to industry reports.

"We are very delighted to collaborate with Microsemi Micropower on the development of our proprietary hearing technology. The development team at Microsemi Micropower is exceptionally talented which enabled us to rapidly move forward with our IC development program. The Microsemi Micropower has exceptional knowledge and experience in high fidelity audio and ultra-low power design," stated Adnan Shennib, Founder and President of InSonus Medical Inc.

InSonus estimates that the 28 million persons suffering from hearing loss represent a market potential of $6-$8 billion for hearing devices.

"Microsemi brings InSonus both our know-how in designing extreme low power circuits and our unique experience in supplying system-engineered semiconductor components for implantable medical applications," said Manuel Lynch, Microsemi's worldwide marketing director. "Combined with our on-going development of components for hand-held, battery-operated appliances, Microsemi is well-positioned to serve the advanced design needs of such innovative medical applications as those InSonus is bringing to market," he said.

In addition to micro-powered audio amplifiers, Microsemi's line of power management products includes AudioMax(R) high-powered Class D audio amplifier integrated circuits for application in portable and
wireless entertainment systems.

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