Frontier Smart Technologies Group is a pioneer in digital radio and smart audio technologies, providing chips, modules and software for consumer audio devices.
In July 2016, the Group sold its Healthcare division. The company now has one operating division, Frontier Silicon.
Frontier Silicon was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in London, with engineering, sales and operations teams in Cambridge, Timisoara (Romania), Hong Kong, and Shenzhen.
Vision and Strategy
The Group is focused on developing class-leading positions in digital radio and smart audio.
Frontier Silicon is the established market leader in the provision of technology solutions for DAB digital broadcast radio - a position it has maintained through the introduction of its 4th generation digital radio chip, Kino 4, in 2015. Kino 4 delivers significant cost and power consumption savings.
The company is leveraging its relationships with customers and suppliers, its in-house technology skills and its supply chain capabilities to establish a similar position in the rapidly emerging smart audio market (Wi-Fi enabled speakers, soundbars and audio systems). In 2015, Frontier announced that it was working with Google on its next generation smart audio solution. The company introduced this new solution, Minuet, in the second half of 2016.
Frontier Silicon is the world’s leading provider of chips, modules and software for digital radios. Customers include Sony, Philips, Panasonic, Pure, Roberts, Grundig and several major retailer own-brands.
The first countries to adopt digital radio successfully were the UK, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland and Australia. Norway and Switzerland were the first countries to confirm dates for Digital Switchover (DSO) - respectively 2017 and 2020-24. Digital radio received a significant boost in 2011, when Germany launched DAB+ services. Across Europe and beyond, the footprint of digital radio is poised for rapid expansion. The Netherlands launched DAB+ in Sept 2013 and Italy launched a second national multiplex in 2014. France, Belgium and Poland are emerging as potential new markets.
Frontier has used the experience and expertise gained in DAB radio to expand first into Internet radio and subsequently into the broader world of Wi-Fi enabled speakers ("smart audio"). In June 2015, the company announced it was working with Google to introduce a Google Cast-enabled smart audio solution which is due to come to market in Q3 2016. In September, Frontier announced its first design for this new solution with Harman JBL, the world's largest manufacturer of speakers.
The smart audio market is growing rapidly, driven by the growth in online music streaming. The market started with Bluetooth speakers (streaming content directly from the user's phone), but is now shifting towards Wi-Fi devices which offer superior functionality and reduce the user's dependency on their phone (avoids running down their battery).
Ecosystem players such as Google, Apple and Amazon play a key role in aggregating music content services. Frontier is one of a very small number of system integrators to be working with Google.