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Business News 2007
  • December 28. 2007:
    Asustek Computer has recently placed emergency orders with its component suppliers for its Eee PC shipments in January and the company expects shipments for the month may reach 300,000 units, while the number could reach one million units for the first quarter of 2008 and five million units in 2008.
  • December 21. 2007:
    NXP Semiconductors acquires GloNav Inc. for at least $85 million in cash. GloNav Inc. is a specialist developer of chips for GPS gear and other satellite navigation systems.
  • December 20. 2007:
    Filtronic plc sold its compound semiconductor division, FCSL, to RF Micro Devices Inc. The deal includes the purchase of FCSL's milimeter wave RF semiconductor business.
  • December 19. 2007:
    EMCORE Corporation and Intel Corporation announced a definitive agreement for EMCORE to acquire the telecom-related portion of Intel's Optical Platform Division for $85 million. The telecom assets to be acquired include intellectual property, assets and technology relating to tunable lasers, tunable transponders, 300-pin transponders and integrable tunable laser assemblies. The transaction is subject to regulatory review and certain other closing conditions, and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2008.
  • December 13. 2007:
    Atheros Communications Inc. a leading developer of advanced wireless solutions, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the assets and certain liabilities of u-Nav Microelectronics, a privately held fabless semiconductor company specializing in global positioning system (GPS) chipsets and software that enable mobile location-based products and services.
  • December 12. 2007:
    ON Semiconductor Corporation and AMIS Holdings, Inc., parent company of AMI Semiconductor, today announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement providing for the acquisition of AMIS by ON Semiconductor in an all-stock transaction with an equity value of approximately $915 million.
  • December 11. 2007:
    STMicroelectronics and Genesis Microchip Inc. announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement for STMicroelectronics to acquire Genesis Microchip. The acquisition confirms STMicroelectronics as a leading System-on-Chip (SoC) technology provider to the rapidly growing digital television and display markets.
    Genesis Microchip Inc. is a leading provider of image and video processing systems enabling superior picture quality in flat-panel TVs and a variety of consumer and PC-display products.
  • November 29. 2007:
    Novatek Microelectronics has signed a definitive agreement to acquire IC design house Cheertek. Novatel spun-off from UMC and was established in 1997 specializing in display and image processing related products. Novatek is the largest FPD driver supplier in the world. Cheertek focus on digital audio and video processing products. The acquisition is expected to close by June 30, 2008. The merged entity will operate as Novatek Microelectronics with a paid-in capital of NT$5.69 billion (US$176 million).
  • November 28. 2007:
    Microsemi Corporation acquired Microwave Device Technology Corp. (MDT) of Westford, Mass. for $7.8 million in cash. The acquisition will enable Microsemi to both enter into the sensor market and to expand its portfolio of microwave semiconductors by adding GaAs microwave diodes to its arsenal of products.
    Microsemi Corporation is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of high performance analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits and high reliability semiconductors.
  • November 08. 2007:
    ON Semiconductor Corporation has signed a definitive agreement to acquire voltage regulation and thermal monitoring products for computing applications from Analog Devices, Inc. for $185 million in cash. This acquisition is expected to enhance revenue and run at a gross margin superior to ON Semiconductor's existing product gross margin. The acquisition is expected to close in December upon the satisfaction of regulatory requirements and other customary closing conditions.
  • October 31. 2007:
    Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. acquired TransChip Israel Ltd., a developer of CMOS image sensors for $70 million. Samsung is one of the world's leading suppliers of CMOS image sensors. TransChip Israel will become one of Samsung's research and development centers.
  • October 24. 2007:
    NetLogic Microsystems Inc. acquires Aeluros Inc., a privately-held fabless supplier of network interface and chip technologies. NetLogic expects to pay $57 million in cash for Aeluros Inc.
  • September 29. 2007:
    Wipro Technologies has signed an agreement with Oki Electric Industry Co. Ltd. of Japan to acquire Oki Techno Center Singapore(OTCS), a wholly-owned subsidiary focused on wireless design and intellectual property.
  • September 10. 2007:
    Intersil Corp. has acquired Planet ATE Inc., a privately-held, fabless semiconductor supplier to the automated test equipment market.
  • September 09. 2007:
    Mediatek Inc. bought Analog Devices Inc's baseband chips product lines as well as some of ADI's cellular handset baseband support operations for about $350 million in cash. MediaTeks wireless handset division designs radio transceiver and baseband chipset products, including GSM, GPRS, EDGE, WCDMA, and TD-SCDMA chipsets.
  • September 05. 2007:
    LSI Corporation has acquired Tarari, a developer of content and XML processors, for $85 million in cash. The operation will become part of LSI's Network & Storage Products Group, which is based in Milpitas, California.
  • September 05. 2007:
    Mindspeed Technologies Inc. has acquired the product portfolio and intellectual property assets of Ample Communications Inc. for $4.6 million in cash.
  • August 27. 2007:
    MIPS Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of industry-standard processor architectures and cores for digital consumer, networking, personal entertainment, communications and business applications, announced that the company will acquire privately-held Chipidea Microelectronica S.A, the world's leading independent supplier of analog and mixed signal intellectual property (IP) for the wireless, digital consumer and connectivity markets.
  • August 24. 2007:
    Maxim Integrated Products Inc. acquired a part of the storage products business from Vitesse Semiconductor Corp.
    Under the terms of the sale, Maxim will acquire Vitesse's serial attached SCSI (SAS), serial attached ATA (SATA) expander product segments, enclosure and baseboard management devices and certain other assets of Vitesse's Storage Products Division. Vitesse will retain its RAID-on-chip (ROC) and Fibre Channel product segments.
  • August 22. 2007:
    TriQuint Semiconductor Inc. has acquired Peak Devices Inc. for an undisclosed price.
    Peak Devices Inc. is a privately-held, fabless semiconductor company that focuses on RF discrete transistor technology. Its market segments include two-way communications, FM and television broadcast, telecommunications, avionics, radar and military. Its goal is a device that can cover multiple octaves of bandwidth. This wide-band technology can be incorporated into various materials including gallium arsenide (GaAs), and gallium nitride (GaN).
  • August 21. 2007:
    LSI Corp. sells its mobility line to Infineon Technologies AG.
    Infineon Technologies announced that the company will further strengthen its activities in the field of communications by acquiring the mobility products business of LSI Corporation (LSI) for a price of approx. Euro 330 million plus a contingent performance-based payment of up to Euro 37 million. Pending the approval of the corresponding authorities, the deal is expected to be closed in the fourth calendar quarter of 2007.
  • August 15. 2007:
    Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) has acquired Integrated Circuit Designs Inc. (ICD)
    ICD is a developer of radio-frequency chips.
    'The addition of ICD's design expertise will complement our existing low-power wireless business and enhance our ability to offer customers complete RF solutions,' said David Jones, precision analog business manager at TI (Dallas), in a statement.
  • August 13. 2007:
    RF Micro Devices Inc. has acquired Sirenza Microdevices Inc. for $900 million in cash and stock.
    RF Micro Devices, Inc., a global leader in the design and manufacture of high-performance radio systems and solutions for applications that drive mobile communications, and Sirenza Microdevices, a supplier of radio frequency (RF) components, announced they have signed a definitive merger agreement.
  • August 08. 2007:
    Nokia is discontinuing its in-house chip development for mobile phones
    Nokia announced its new cellular modem chipset strategy. Nokia is moving out of the cell-phone chip design business and is transferring some 200 ASIC designers in the U.K. and Finland to STMicroelectronics Inc.
  • July 31. 2007:
    Sumitomo Chemical Co. acquired Cambridge Display Technology.
    Sumitomo Chemical Co. (Japan) has acquired Cambridge Display Technology (CDT) of the U.K., a developer of technologies based on polymer organic light emitting diodes (P-OLEDs). Sumitomo Chemical will acquire all outstanding shares of CDT common stock at a price of $12 per share in cash, for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $285 million.
  • July 12. 2007:
    Cirrus Logic acquires Apex Microtechnology.
    Cirrus Logic Inc., a leading designer of high-precision analog, mixed-signal and embedded integrated circuits, announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Apex Microtechnology, a leading provider of precision high-power analog amplifier products, for $42 million in cash.
    Founded in 1980 with headquarters in Tucson, Ariz., Apex Microtechnology is a leading innovator of integrated circuits, hybrids and modules used in a wide range of industrial and aerospace applications that require high-power precision analog products, such as PWM and power amplifiers. These precision amplifiers are used for driving motors, piezo electrics, programmable power supplies and other devices requiring high power and precision control.
  • July 10. 2007:
    Atmel Corp. has sold its network storage unit to MoSys Inc.
    MoSys, Inc., a leading provider of high-density system-on-chip (SoC) embedded memory intellectual property (IP) solutions announces the acquisition of a number of mixed signal chip designs from Atmel Corporation. As part of the transaction, MoSys will also hire the Atmel design team that has developed these products. The Atmel unit produced systems-on-chip for network storage and HD DVD applications.
  • July 10. 2007:
    NXP Semiconductors has acquired the BlueStreak microcontroller product business from Sharp Microelectronics.
    The deal will enable NXP to manufacture the ARM7 and ARM9 processor-based BlueStreak microcontrollers and expands NXP's range of ARM-based microcontrollers to 50 products.
  • June 27. 2007:
    Magnum will acquire the LSI consumer products business
    LSI Corporation and Magnum Semiconductor, Inc. announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Magnum will acquire the LSI consumer products business in a transaction to be funded by private equity investment. Magnum Semiconductor is a premier provider of chips, software and reference platforms for recording, viewing and managing high-quality audio/video content.
  • June 26. 2007:
    Zarlink Signs Agreement to Acquire Legerity
    Zarlink Semiconductor Inc. announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire privately held Legerity Holdings, Inc., a leading developer and supplier of voice ICs (integrated circuits) for carrier, enterprise and residential gateway equipment.
    Under the terms of the agreement, Zarlink will acquire Legerity for US$134.5 million in cash, subject to working capital adjustments. Zarlink intends to fund this acquisition through a combination of its cash resources and, as required, draw down on a bridge facility of up to US$50 million.
  • June 26. 2007:
    Infineon Acquires Texas Instruments' DSL CPE Business
    Infineon Technologies announced the planned acquisition of Texas Instruments' DSL Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) business. The transaction is expected to close in the summer of 2007.
    Texas Instruments is a well-established provider of DSL CPE products with field deployments at major carriers worldwide. "Combining Texas Instruments' DSL CPE products with Infineon's innovative roadmap leads to a unique end-to-end offering for DSL customers," said Prof. Dr. Hermann Eul, Executive Vice President of the Infineon Management Board and President of the Communication Solutions business group.
    Infineon plans to continue supporting Texas Instruments' product portfolio and existing customer designs while leveraging the acquired experience in future product generations.
    "We recognize Infineon's strong commitment to the DSL business. This transaction gives our customers continuity of the product line, continuity of customer support and a strong DSL roadmap," said Dennis Rauschmayer, General Manager of TI's Residential Gateway business. "TI is fully committed to support the transition of the business and the customer service transition to Infineon, ensuring a positive customer experience."
  • June 21. 2007:
    SiRF Technology Holdings, Inc. announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Centrality Communications Inc.
    SiRF Technology Holdings, Inc., a leading provider of GPS-enabled silicon and premium software location platforms, announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Centrality Communications Inc, a leading developer of navigation processor solutions for mobile navigation devices, for a total consideration of $283 million in stock and cash.
    Founded in 1999, Centrality has developed a range of system on a chip (SoC) offerings that bring high quality navigation and multimedia experience to consumers in mobile environments. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, Centrality has more than 190 employees and a worldwide presence with its main development center in Shanghai, China and branch offices in Taipei, Seoul and Brussels.
  • June 12. 2007:
    Broadcom Corp. has acquired Global Locate, Inc., a specialist in global positioning system chips.
    Founded in 1999, Global Locate has focused on GPS implementation at the single-chip level. It uses Assisted GPS and other global references to achieve location-based services even when satellite signals cannot be acquired. Global Locate has designed three generations of GPS chips. Broadcom has paid a net $146 million in cash for Global Locate Inc., another $80 million will be held in reserve payable to shareholders of Global Locate on the execution of performance goals.
  • June 4. 2007:
    Flextronics International Ltd. acquires rival Solectron Corp.
    Contract electronics maker Flextronics International Ltd. said that it would acquire rival Solectron Corp. for $3.6 billion in cash and stock. Following the acquisition, Solectron will become a wholly-owned unit of Flextronics.
  • June 1. 2007:
    Synplicity, Inc. acquires HARDI Electronics AB.
    Synplicity, Inc., a leading supplier of software for the design and verification of semiconductors, today announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire all of the outstanding shares of HARDI Electronics AB, a leading developer of off-the-shelf ASIC prototyping boards, for $24.2 million in cash. The ASIC prototyping market is one the fastest growing segments of the EDA industry, and this acquisition makes Synplicity the leader in this part of the ASIC verification market.
    HARDI's ASIC Prototyping System (HAPS) is used world-wide by industry-leading companies such as Broadcom, Conexant, LG, LSI Logic, Marvell, Matsushita, Nokia, NXP, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, and TI.
  • May 22. 2007:
    Intel and STMicroelectronics announce flash memory joint venture.
    STMicroelectronics, Intel and Francisco Partners announced they have entered into a definitive agreement to create a new independent semiconductor company from the key assets of businesses which last year generated approximately $3.6 billion in combined annual revenue. The new company's strategic focus will be on supplying flash memory solutions for a variety of consumer and industrial devices, including cellular phones, MP3 players, digital cameras, computers and other high-tech equipment.
    Under the terms of the agreement, STMicroelectronics will sell its flash memory assets, including its NAND joint venture interest and other NOR resources, to the new company while Intel will sell its NOR assets and resources. In exchange, Intel will receive a 45.1 percent equity ownership stake and a $432 million cash payment at close. STMicroelectronics will receive a 48.6 percent equity ownership stake and a $468 million cash payment at close. Francisco Partners L.P., a Menlo Park, Calif.-based private equity firm, will invest $150 million in cash for convertible preferred stock representing a 6.3 percent ownership interest, subject to adjustment in certain circumstances. Concurrently, the parties have arranged for the new company to receive firm commitments for a $1.3 billion term loan and $250 million revolver. The term loan will be underwritten by a consortium of banks. Proceeds from the term loan will be used for working capital and payment to Intel and STMicroelectronics for the purchase price. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions and is expected to occur in the second half of 2007.
    The move is due to see 8,000 employees move to a new, but as yet unnamed, Swiss-headquartered joint-venture.
  • May 15. 2007:
    Cypress sells its PSRAM unit to Taiwan's Elite Semiconductor Memory Technology Inc. (ESMT).
    Elite Semiconductor Memory Technology Inc., Taiwan (ESMT) and Cypress Semiconductor Corp. announced a Technology Transfer Agreement under which ESMT will acquire Cypress's Pseudo Static Random Access Memory (PSRAM) product line. According to the agreement, Cypress will transfer PSRAM-related intellectual property, photomasks and probe card assets to ESMT, strengthening ESMT's memory product portfolio for handheld devices. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
    ESMT markets, designs and manufactures specialty memory products for consumer products including DVD players and recorders, LCD flat panel monitors and TVs, portable automotive audio/video systems, MP3 players, settop boxes, and video game systems. The company has been aggressively pursuing the booming mobile phone market in recent years.
    By using a pseudo SRAM architecture that employs a single-transistor DRAM cell rather than a six-transistor SRAM cell, pseudo SRAM helps GPRS and UMTS phone makers add more bells and whistles to their units while maintaining system speed, a compact form and perhaps most importantly, relatively competitive pricing.
    Pseudo SRAMs are pin-compatible with SRAMs, allowing chips to be used as drop-in replacements for the asynchronous SRAM currently used in many cell phone designs. The devices can also include a burst read and write mode that emulates a flash-memory interface.
  • May 14. 2007:
    NXP sells cordless, VoIP chips unit to DSP Group.
    NXP Semiconductors, the newly independent semiconductor company founded by Philips, and DSP Group, Inc. announced that they will combine their Cordless & VoIP terminals businesses within DSP Group to create a market leader in the cordless and VoIP residential telephony market. The transaction can reach a total value of $345 million and will provide NXP with a shareholding of approximately 12% in DSP Group.
    The unit develops and makes RF chipsets, basebands, software and system solutions for DECT, DECT 6.0, WDCT 2.4, 5.8, Analog 900, 2.4, 5.8, VoIP/MTA, USB Softphones, and VoIP Gateways.
  • May 10. 2007:
    Exar has acquired Sipex.
    Exar Corporation has acquired Sipex Corporation. According to the Exar, it's a move to expand its operations.
    Under the terms of the agreement, which was approved by the boards of directors of both companies, Sipex stockholders will receive 0.6679 of a share of Exar for each share of Sipex.
  • May 10. 2007:
    Philips Electronics is preparing to sell its shares in Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. worth an estimated $2.5 billion.
    The move is part of a strategy to shift away from mature and volatile industries like semiconductors and into units that make medical equipment, lighting and consumer appliances.
    The sale is part of a plan released earlier this year in which Philips will eventually sell its entire stake in foundry TSMC. Philips holds approximately 3.3 billion TSMC common shares, which amounts to approximately 12.8 percent of TSMC shares. The stake is worth $6.7 billion.
    Philips is also looking to draw down its one-third stake in South Korean flat-panel display maker LG.Philips LCD.
  • May 10. 2007:
    Siemens subsidiary Osram announced it will expand its LED production capacities. The company plans to erect a wafer processing line in addition to its existing backend facility in Penang, Malaysia.
    Expansion in Malaysia will not go at the expense of the company's existing LED production line in Regensburg, Germany, the company explained. Instead, the company even plans to inaugurate a new production module also at this location by the end of the current year.
  • May 04. 2007:
    Broadcom Corp. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Octalica Inc. for $31 million in cash.
    Octalica is a privately-held fabless semiconductor company that specializes in the design and development of networking technologies based on the Multimedia over Coax Alliance standard.
    The so called MoCA standard enables distribution of digital multimedia content throughout the home over existing coaxial cable. MoCA has emerged as a method for in-home multimedia distribution among cable, satellite and telecommunications service providers in the U.S.
  • May 03. 2007:
    Maxim Integrated Products Inc. has acquired Atmel's wafer fabrication facility.
    Maxim Integrated Products Inc. has acquired a wafer fabrication facility in Irving, Texas from Atmel for approximately $38 million. The facility, located on approximately 39 acres, is comprised of approximately 622,000 square feet of clean room and office space.
    The clean room can be expanded to 100,000 square feet.
    Maxim said the fab will expand the company's capacity. "This facility puts us in an excellent position for future capacity requirements," he said in a statement. "It is capable of 20,000 eight inch wafer starts per month with the capability of expanding to over 30,000 wafer starts per month. The scale and construction of this facility will enable Maxim to bring on line capacity down to the 0.18um node with low cost and short cycle time with high yields."
  • May 01. 2007:
    Atmel Corp. sales its Texas wafer fabrication facility.
    Atmel Corp. announced the sale of its Irving, Texas wafer fabrication facility for approximately $38 million in cash.
    The buyer was not identified by Atmel, based here. The sale of this non-core facility will help cut Atmel's manufacturing costs.
  • April 25. 2007:
    Royal Philips Electronics spins off Silicon Hive
    The technology incubator division of Royal Philips Electronics has spun out Silicon Hive, a licensor of processor and related intellectual property, and as part of the deal, New Venture Partners, TVM Capital and Philips have together invested $10 million in the new company.
    The company says that as an independent semiconductor IP supplier the newly created Silicon Hive B.V. would have the freedom to license to the entire electronics industry.
  • April 18. 2007:
    Silicon Motion Technology will acquire Future Communications IC (FCI)
    Silicon Motion Technology announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Korea-based radio frequency IC (RFIC) design house Future Communications IC (FCI), marking its presence beyond memory controller IC market.
    Under the terms of the transaction, Silicon Motion will acquire all of the outstanding common shares of FCI for a total purchase price of US$90 million. In addition, Silicon Motion will also pay former FCI shareholders up to an additional US$12 million in cash. In order to be eligible for additional payments, the FCI business is required to generate US$33 million in revenue in 2007, Silicon Motion noted.
  • April 02. 2007:
    LSI Logic will be renamed to LSI Corporation
    LSI Logic Corporation, a maker of chips for DVD recorders and hard drives, said on April 2nd that it closed its $3.5 billion purchase of chip maker Agere Systems Inc.
    The company, which will be renamed LSI Corporation, also estimated savings from combining product development operations and the ability to buy materials in greater bulk.
  • March 29. 2007:
    X-Fab Group acquires ZMD.
    German foundry X-Fab AG is to take over ZMD AG and its wafer processing subsidiary ZFoundry. ZMD will become a fabless company. X-Fab will provide foundry services to the chip manufacturer.
  • February 05. 2007:
    Global semiconductor sales reached new record.
    Global semiconductor sales reached a record $248 billion last year, driven largely by favourable economic condition and rising demand for consumer electronics such as high-definition TVs, digital music players and cell phones.
    Worldwide chip dales increased 8.9% from $227.5 billion recorded in 2005, as advances in semiconductor technology have enabled companies to lower their costs to produce chips while also boosting performance, the Semiconductor Industry Association said.