Redditch manufacturer on acquisition trail at it buys Bucks business

Solid State buys Active Silicon

Redditch-based AIM listed computing and power products manufacturer Solid State plc, has bought Buckinghamshire-based Active Silicon Limited and its subsidiaries for £6.3 million.

Established in 1988, Active Silicon designs and manufacturers imaging and embedded vision systems allowing the capture, processing, and transmission of image data in high performance and critical environments. Products include innovative embedded systems for Internet of Things (IoT) applications, pioneering autofocus-zoom cameras and high-speed acquisition cards allowing real-time, high-resolution image capture over long cable lengths. With a longstanding, global customer base, Active Silicon’s products have applications in multiple areas of industry, science, and technology – including advanced manufacturing, life sciences, robotics, medical imaging, security and defence.

Active Silicon’s headquarters and research & development centre are in Iver with its production facility nearby in Langley. In addition, it has a US subsidiary, Active Silicon Inc., which operates from Severna Park, Maryland. This office provides sales, support, and operations for the North American market.

All hardware is designed in-house with some subcontract manufacturing taking place in Europe. Final assembly, inspection and testing is undertaken at the UK production facility.

For the year ended 31 March 2020 Active Silicon reported revenue of £5.5 million.

The business experienced a significant downturn in the first half of the current financial year principally due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In recent months both orders and billings have seen a strong recovery.

Redditch’s Solid State reports robust trading


Solid State will combine Active Silicon’s expertise and technology with the industrial computer product portfolio from its Steatite manufacturing division. This enables the enlarged Group to address the growing demand for 3D vision and robotic applications, as well as the increased requirements for embedded machine vision and edge AI computing products.

Gary Marsh, Chief Executive of Solid State, said: “Solid State’s acquisition strategy targets complementary technologies with exposure to structural growth markets.  The acquisition of Active Silicon achieves both of these objectives while broadening the capacity for the enlarged Group to increase its range of own brand products and value added services.

“The computing sector has been a key market for Solid State, which has driven a focus on expanding capability in the development of AI enabled technologies for industries such as medical, security, defence and life sciences.  We see the acquisition of Active Silicon as a considerable step in broadening our customer offering and further extending into the product value chain.”

Commenting on the Acquisition, Colin Pearce, Chief Executive of Active Silicon, added: “We are pleased to become part of the Solid State Group and firmly believe the synergies of our embedded electronics expertise, combined with Solid State’s portfolio of computing platforms, will lead to an acceleration of our profitable growth in the expanding areas of AI and embedded computing in general.”