Facility in west end
AAC creates smart device R&D centre in Edinburgh
Exchange Tower: home for new R&D facility
A Hong Kong listed smart devices company has today confirmed the opening of a research and development centre in central Edinburgh.
AAC Technologies, based in Shenzhen that links Hong Kong to the Chinese mainland, will employ an initial dozen digital engineers in advanced microphone technology.
The facility will be based in Exchange Tower in the city’s west end and as revealed by Daily Business on Tuesday will join a worldwide network of R&D centres in China, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the United States.
The new centre positions AAC to lead the industry as a wave of voice-controlled artificial intelligence applications increasingly become central to the smartphone and mobile user experience. It will focus on microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) microphones.
David Plekenpol, AAC chief strategy officer and chairman of the American & European region, told Daily Business that the company was chosen over Cambridge, Oxford and London.
“We were attracted by the technological talent and I can more easily draw people to Edinburgh,” he said, adding that there could be 30 staff in the city over three years.
AAC’s existing suite of microphone solutions is currently used by leading OEMs such as Amazon, Samsung, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo.
David Plekenpol: ‘I can easily draw people to Edinburgh’
The company was established in 1993 and listed in Hong Kong in 2005. It has more than 50,000 employees worldwide, including 1,500 R & D engineers. It has a turnover of $3.5 billion.
Colin Jenkins, who has an extensive career in microphone technology, will serve as R&D director in Edinburgh and on-site lead for the group.
He will be joined by former colleagues from the former Wolfson Microelectronics, as well as strategic hires involved in AAC’s expansion plans.
Edinburgh offers us a wealth of university lab access and the opportunity to recruit top-tier local talent– Colin Jenkins, AAC
“The combination of our experience and AAC’s market knowledge and long-term commitment to the industry will result in some very exciting product developments,” he said.
“Furthermore, as one of the UK’s top technology hubs, Edinburgh offers us a wealth of university lab access and the opportunity to recruit top-tier local talent with extensive MEMS expertise.”