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Freescale & Cactus Collaborate on Medical

AUSTIN, Texas — Freescale Semiconductor and Cactus Semiconductor, a medical application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) company, have agreed to collaborate to provide customized analog mixed-signal and system-on-chip (SOC) solutions to the medical market. The companies have more than 30 years of combined experience in the medical device market and are focused on providing new generations of smaller, lighter, inexpensive and more efficient medical products that are designed to help improve the quality of life for millions of people.

As part of this collaboration, Freescale will have access to Cactus’s substantial medical applications expertise to aid the development of customer-specific solutions using Freescale’s wafer fabrication and packaging technologies. This collaboration paves the way for future collaboration to expand Freescale’s analog mixed-signal technology capabilities, helping the company provide a more integrated offering for medical device designers and their customers. Cactus will gain exposure to the medical market through Freescale’s vast network of field sales support.

Freescale and Cactus will initially focus on solutions for implantable medical devices, blood glucose monitors and other portable medical applications, such as blood pressure monitors, electrocardiographs and pulse oximetry devices. The collaboration lays the groundwork for Freescale to work with Cactus to further enhance its catalog devices by adding custom ASICs and design services to the Freescale portfolio, allowing medical device manufacturers to tailor solutions to meet their specific needs.

Customization is critical, given the current size and diversity of the worldwide medical market. According to the Continua® Health Alliance, there are more than 200,000 hospitals worldwide, with a total of 18 million hospital beds. With the potential Freescale and Cactus’ joint solutions, medical OEMs can better tailor their offerings for the extensive network of hospital decision makers and a wide array of assisted living and home health professionals.

“We believe consumers can monitor their health more effectively if they have access to medical devices that can be used in their daily lives,” said Bruno Baylac, director of Freescale’s Medical, Metering, and Connectivity business unit. “The future combination of Freescale’s and Cactus’ technology will help broaden the medical device market by allowing our customers to speed time-to-market, offer best-in-class hardware and reduce system costs.”

“Breakthrough silicon, technologies and systems expertise from companies like Freescale and Cactus Semiconductor are making it easier and more cost-effective to monitor and treat patients,” said James McDonald, CEO at Cactus. “We are excited to be a part of this relationship. Leveraging Freescale’s strong field sales network, together we can now serve a much broader medical customer base.”

According to research firm Databeans, the medical electronics market is expected to reach $191.1 billion by 2015, resulting in a growth rate of 8 percent from 2010 to 2015. Within that market, portability is a growing trend, partly due to the needs of the current 860 million chronic disease patients around the world1. With advances in medical technology and increased access to portable medical monitoring units, patients can manage their diseases more effectively with potentially fewer visits to their health care provider.

For more information about Freescale solutions for medical applications, please visit

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