Zarlink Semiconductor Inc.
OTC Bulletin Board : ZARLF

Zarlink Semiconductor Inc.

September 15, 2010 09:00 ET

World's First Implanted System Treating High Blood Pressure and Heart Failure Relies on Zarlink's Wireless Radio Expertise

Next-generation implanted system triggers the body's natural responses to help treat high blood pressure and heart failure, highlights growing opportunity for Zarlink in-body radio technology

OTTAWA, CANADA--(Marketwire - Sept. 15, 2010) - Zarlink Semiconductor (TSX:ZL) today announced that its MICS (Medical Implant Communications Service) wireless radio technology is designed into the world's first implanted medical device used to treat both hypertension (high blood pressure) and heart failure. Developed by Minneapolis-based CVRx, the device triggers the body's natural physiological responses to regulate a patient's blood pressure and cardiovascular function. Almost 80 million adults in the United States are affected by blood pressure and heart failure conditions. 

"CVRx's Rheos System is a unique therapy that highlights the increasing demand for our ultra low-power radio solutions for implanted wireless medical devices," said Steve Swift, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Zarlink's Medical Products group. "We are the industry's only provider of standards-compliant radio chips for the healthcare market, and are actively working with leading companies such as CVRx that are developing innovative new wireless products supporting treatments and therapies to improve patient care and lower healthcare costs." 

The CVRx Rheos System includes a small pulse generator that is implanted under the skin below the collarbone and two small electrical contacts to the carotid sinus. An external programmer uses Zarlink's MICS radio to wirelessly program the pulse generator to activate receptors located at the carotid sinus. These receptors then send chemical signals that the brain interprets as a rise in blood pressure and workload on the heart. This triggers the brain to take natural steps to improve cardiovascular function by reducing the heart rate, opening blood vessels, and releasing fluid from the body through the kidneys. The wireless radio link can also be used to adjust performance of the implanted device as necessary to meet each patient's individual needs. 

"Our Rheos System automatically triggers the body's own natural approach to reduce high blood pressure for patients where drug therapy is not effective, and treat heart failure in patients with heart filling problems," said Joseph DuPay, Vice President of Product Development and Operations, CVRx. "Zarlink's high-performance MICS radio technology, medical regulatory expertise, and technical support have been valuable in speeding the development of this new system."

According to the American Heart Association, hypertension causes an estimated one in eight deaths worldwide. In the United States alone, high blood pressure affects about 74 million people. Approximately 25 percent of people with hypertension cannot control their high blood pressure, despite the use of multiple medications. Heart failure, or the inability of the heart to supply sufficient blood flow to meet the body's needs, affects 5.2 million adults in the United States. Heart failure significantly increases the risk of sudden cardiac death, and causes severe quality of life problems with patients experiencing shortness of breath, exercise intolerance and fluid retention. 

Zarlink's ZL70102 MICS radio technology delivers high data rates, ultra-low power consumption and unique wake-up circuitry to enable wireless performance in medical devices supporting advanced monitoring, diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Lead customers have designed Zarlink's MICS technology into pacemakers, implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs), neurostimulation applications, and associated programming and monitoring equipment.

For more information on Zarlink's ZL70102 MICS radio platform, visit To learn more about Zarlink's medical expertise, go to

About Zarlink Semiconductor

Zarlink Semiconductor delivers world-leading, mixed-signal chip technologies for a broad range of communication and medical applications. The company's core capabilities include network timing solutions that manage time-sensitive communication applications over wireless and wired networks, line circuits supporting high-quality voice services over cable and broadband connections, and ultra low-power radios enabling new wireless medical devices and therapies. Serving the world's largest original equipment manufacturers, Zarlink's highly integrated chip solutions help customers simplify design, lower costs and reach market quickly. For more information, visit

Shareholders and other individuals wishing to receive, free of charge, copies of the reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Regulatory Authorities, should visit the Company's web site at or contact Investor Relations.

Certain statements in this press release constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks, uncertainties and assumptions include, among others, the following: our dependence on the successful development and market introduction of new products; our ability to integrate any business, technologies, product lines or services that we have or will acquire; our dependence on revenue generation from our legacy products in order to fund development of our new products; current market conditions, including the lack of liquidity in the markets and economic slowdown, may increase our operating costs or reduce our revenue, thereby negatively impacting our operating results; our ability to operate profitably and generate positive cash flows in the future; the impact of the current economic crisis on our suppliers and customers and our ability to transfer parts to other suppliers; our dependence on our foundry suppliers and third-party subcontractors; order cancellations and deferrals by our customers; our substantial indebtedness could adversely affect our financial position; the cost and accounting implications of compliance with new accounting standards; and other factors referenced in our Annual Report on Form 20-F. Investors are encouraged to consider the risks detailed in this filing.

Zarlink and the Zarlink Semiconductor logo are trademarks of Zarlink Semiconductor Inc.

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