By Majeed Ahmad, EDN
What’s driving acquisitions in the analog and mixed-signal design realm? Most deals recently made in this space don’t fall into the typical unification of competitors swallowing each other to gain market share. Take the case of Renesas Electronics, a digitally-focused company, which has acquired Intersil, IDT, and Dialog Semiconductor.
Chip designs are combining sensors, analog, and digital processing. As a result, chipmakers are maneuvering to add new design capabilities for these combined systems, says Joseph C. Davis, senior director of product management for Calibre Interfaces and mPower Power Integrity at Siemens Digital Industries Software. “These companies are acquiring capabilities to provide more comprehensive and powerful ICs for combined processing and interfaces.”
Laurie Balch, research director at Pedestal Research, calls this a tight integration of analog and digital building blocks in semiconductor design. She says that chipmakers clearly see this trend, and they are responding with relevant acquisitions. While that’s what is happening at the ecosystem level, there are more specific dimensions as well.
For instance, Mark Waller, director of the user enablement at Pulsic, points out that this consolidation wave follows the initial explosion of the Internet of Things (IoT) startups. “As a result, the existing analog companies have pivoted to this market.” He added that the analog design ecosystem is still strong and diverse despite this consolidation wave.
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