Monday, May 23, 2011

Xilinx acquires Sarance Technologies

SAN JOSE, Calif., May 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Xilinx, Inc. (NASDAQ: XLNX) today announced its acquisition of Sarance Technologies, completing its industry-leading technology portfolio for addressing next generation line card applications by adding premier connectivity communications capabilities. The new connectivity solution portfolio enables Xilinx to address the fast growing demand for 40G, 100G and beyond Interlaken, Ethernet and High-Speed Ethernet applications as well as new requirements for meeting 400G Ethernet system needs.

The latest acquisition follows the recent additions of Omiino Ltd. and Modelware to Xilinx's overall strategic portfolio to provide major customers with a 'one-stop-shop' for wired communications logic IC needs, including optical transport, traffic management, packet processing and high-speed Ethernet (Interlaken, MACs and High-Bandwidth Bridge) solutions. The acquisitions give Xilinx a complete portfolio to address service provider, enterprise, and datacenter logic IC needs.

"The insatiable global demand for bandwidth is drastically increasing constraints on network infrastructures and operators. Customers are increasing line card bandwidths well into the 200 Gbps to 400 Gbps and leading Ethernet MAC and Scalable Interlaken solutions are key for enabling FPGAs to play a central role in these applications," said Krishna Rangasayee Corporate Vice President & General Manager, Xilinx Communications Business Unit. "Sarance's expertise and portfolio is recognized throughout the industry. Bringing the MAC and Interlaken market leader into our fold gives Xilinx the ability to increase and accelerate the displacement of ASSPs and ASICs in many 40G/100G and beyond programs."

One of the three founders of the Interlaken Alliance, Sarance has led the industry with solutions consisting of very configurable, highly-FPGA-optimized portfolio of chip-to-chip interconnect focused on the Ethernet, Interlaken, and the Network Search Engine market segments. They also have the only IP technology capable of scaling to 400G rates for bridging in an FPGA. Their IP along with Virtex® FPGAs has allowed Xilinx to present optimized solutions to customers where many competitive alternatives require larger or non-optimized solutions that force compromises on features and performance.

"Ethernet and Interlaken applications are pervasive in communications equipment in both legacy and growth segments and we expect that adoption to continue along with the need to address the other aspects of the communications market," said Bob Wheeler, The Linley Group's senior analyst for networking silicon. "Sarance is recognized as the leading supplier of Interlaken IP and a leading supplier of Ethernet IP to the entire logic IC landscape and their technology further strengthens Xilinx's ability to serve the communications market with complete solutions."

To learn more about Xilinx in Wired Communications, please visit http://www.xilinx.com/wired.

About Xilinx

Xilinx is the world's leading provider of programmable platforms. For more information, visit http://www.xilinx.com/.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Skyworks to acquire SiGe

WOBURN, Mass. & ANDOVER, Mass., May 17, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Skyworks Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ: SWKS), an innovator of high reliability analog and mixed signal semiconductors enabling a broad range of end markets, today signed a definitive agreement to purchase SiGe Semiconductor, Inc., a leading global supplier of radio frequency (RF) front-end solutions that are facilitating wireless multimedia across a wide range of applications. The acquisition of SiGe, a fabless semiconductor provider, complements Skyworks' leadership in wide area front-end solutions by adding SiGe's innovative short range, silicon-based products. As a result, Skyworks will be able to offer customers a comprehensive wireless networking product portfolio, supporting all key operating frequencies with architectural flexibility to address a variety of high growth applications. Specifically, via this transaction, Skyworks immediately expands its addressable content opportunity within several strategic product areas including smart phones, tablets, gaming consoles, notebook PCs and home automation systems.

"Skyworks' acquisition of SiGe Semiconductor underscores our commitment to capitalize on ubiquitous wireless connectivity," said David J. Aldrich, president and chief executive officer of Skyworks. "To that end, this acquisition is highly complementary in terms of our addressed markets, sales channels, process technologies, design methodologies and baseband partnerships. At the same time, the SiGe business presents significant operational and cost synergies yielding immediate earnings accretion and long-term shareholder value creation."

"Skyworks clearly represents the best strategic and cultural fit for SiGe Semiconductor," said Sohail Khan, president and chief executive officer of SiGe Semiconductor. "Both companies have a long history of front-end innovation and a shared vision of the future of band-intensive wireless networking. Together, we can develop and deliver products of unprecedented integration and improve our customers' performance in the increasingly connected wireless world."

Skyworks will pay $210 million in cash, plus an additional $65 million if certain performance targets are met over the next 12 months. The transaction has been approved by Skyworks' and SiGe's boards of directors and is anticipated to close in June, subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of domestic and foreign regulatory approvals. Excluding any non-recurring acquisition related charges and amortization of acquired intangibles, Skyworks expects the acquisition to be immediately accretive to non-GAAP earnings and will finalize estimates of the transaction's financial impact, as well as the accounting for the transaction, upon deal close.

SiGe Semiconductor's diverse and comprehensive product portfolio provides the performance, range and reliability required by 802.11b/g/a/n, Bluetooth(R), WiMAX, GPS and ZigBee(R) Systems. The company's innovative utilization of silicon-based semiconductor technologies simplifies the integration of RF signal processing for many of today's leading consumer, commercial and industrial electronics companies. Key SiGe customers include Cisco, Dell, Huawei, Hewlett-Packard, NetGear, Itron, Microsoft, Nintendo, Samsung and Sony.

About SiGe Semiconductor

SiGe Semiconductor is a leading provider of highly integrated RF semiconductor front-end solutions that enable wireless connectivity across a wide range of applications. Our innovative solutions integrate multiple RF functions into a single semiconductor device to deliver an optimal combination of performance, power output and efficiency, and size. Our predominant use of standard silicon based processes and fabless manufacturing model enables us to achieve high levels of functional integration, leverage the economies of scale of high volume manufacturing technology, maintain low costs and accelerate our time-to-market. We have shipped more than 750 million front-end solutions since our inception, primarily consisting of Wi-Fi(TM) front end modules and power amplifiers.

About Skyworks

Skyworks Solutions, Inc. is an innovator of high reliability analog and mixed signal semiconductors. Leveraging core technologies, Skyworks offers diverse standard and custom linear products supporting automotive, broadband, cellular infrastructure, energy management, industrial, medical, military and mobile handset applications. The Company's portfolio includes amplifiers, attenuators, detectors, diodes, directional couplers, front-end modules, hybrids, infrastructure RF subsystems, mixers/demodulators, phase shifters, PLLs/synthesizers/VCOs, power dividers/combiners, receivers, switches and technical ceramics.

Headquartered in Woburn, Mass., Skyworks is worldwide with engineering, manufacturing, sales and service facilities throughout Asia, Europe and North America. For more information, please visit Skyworks' Web site at: www.skyworksinc.com.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

SMSC acquires BridgeCo

HAUPPAUGE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SMSC (NASDAQ: SMSC), a leading semiconductor company enabling content rich connectivity systems, today announced that it has acquired BridgeCo Inc. (BridgeCo), a leader in networked audio technologies. BridgeCo’s JukeBlox™ technology connects tablets, smartphones, PCs, Macs and other consumer electronics products to a new world of audio entertainment. With the industry’s only system-on-a-chip (SoC) and Software Design Kit (SDK) for networked audio, BridgeCo is making the connected home a reality and enabling consumers to access their local or cloud-based music library from any device and from any room in the home. Its JukeBlox software platform, with integrated WiFi® support, enables music streaming to virtually all home audio equipment including home theater systems, A/V receivers, radios, wireless speakers and portable music player docking stations. BridgeCo’s technology has been adopted by some of the largest consumer electronics brands in the world including Pioneer, Philips, Denon, Marantz, JBL, B&W and Harmon/Kardon, leading to a doubling of customer products in production in each of the last three years.

“As consumer companies seek to deliver wireless multimedia ecosystems that are user friendly, the market for solutions that enable consumers to stream music from smartphones, tablets and PCs over a WiFi home network is set to take off at an exponential rate,” said Christine King, President & Chief Executive Officer of SMSC. “BridgeCo is playing an important role in driving the adoption of those ecosystems with hardware and software solutions that provide a platform which has been rigorously tested and certified for an interoperable environment. With the acquisition of BridgeCo, we are significantly enhancing our consumer technology prowess as we further position SMSC as a preferred partner to the industry’s top consumer audio device designers for best-in-class wireless audio solutions in the home or car.”

BridgeCo’s line of ARM-based multi-core network media processors integrate a system controller, real-time audio processing engine, DRM security processor, network I/O processor and a WiFi MAC/Baseband to enable high-bandwidth wireless audio streaming. BridgeCo also markets Digital Media Player modules and network connectivity software. Its JukeBlox technology integrates a broad range of functionality including Internet radio with premium services such as Pandora®, Last.FM®, Rhapsody®, Napster® & Sirius®, and wired or wireless streaming of digital music via multiple standards. It also provides USB functionality, a broad suite of codecs, protocols and DRM standards, and traditional home audio functionality such as AM/FM radio and clock/alarm functionality.

BridgeCo's JukeBlox Connectivity platform enables consumers to stream music throughout their entire house wirelessly. The platform includes an optimized network audio processor with integrated WiFi networking and software that allow consumers to access music libraries and playlists on or through their smartphone, tablet, Mac or PC and to stream it to any BridgeCo enabled home audio product. It was designed to operate in ecosystems that promote multi-tasking capabilities with the latest portable device operating systems. This way consumers can wirelessly stream music throughout the home in the background while keeping their smartphones and tablets free for web-browsing, e-mail or e-book reading or keeping up with friends and family via social networking. Music library streaming can also be sourced from a Mac or PC over a home WiFi network with downloaded remote control apps running on a smartphone or tablet.

Several WiFi-based interoperability standards are emerging to enable an optimized wireless media streaming environment and BridgeCo’s technology was developed to ensure transparent interoperability across these multiple standards. This means that all users in a home will have the freedom to choose any smartphone, tablet or PC, without being limited to a particular brand or standard, to enjoy wireless music streaming from any cloud-based music storage service to networked audio products enabled by BridgeCo’s technology.

According to ABI Research, networked audio devices will grow from 3.7 million units in 2009 to more than 56 million by 2015 with revenue growing to more than $10 billion by 2015.

For the three months ended March 2011, BridgeCo’s revenue was $2.2 million and revenue in the three months ended June 30, 2011 is expected to be approximately $5 million. We currently expect the acquisition to be neutral on a full year non-GAAP earnings per share basis in SMSC’s fiscal 2012. Under terms of the acquisition agreement, SMSC paid $40 million in cash and additional cash payments of up to $27.5 million may occur upon achievement of certain performance goals. Headquartered in El Segundo, CA, with offices in India and Japan, BridgeCo has approximately 100 employees. The acquisition closed on May 19, 2011.

About SMSC

SMSC is a leading developer of Smart Mixed-Signal Connectivity™ solutions. SMSC employs a unique systems level approach that incorporates a broad set of technologies and intellectual property to deliver differentiating products to its customers. The company is focused on delivering connectivity solutions that enable the proliferation of data in personal computers, portable consumer devices and other applications. SMSC’s feature-rich products drive a number of industry standards and include USB, MOST® automotive networking, Kleer® wireless audio, embedded system control and analog solutions, including thermal management and RightTouch™ capacitive sensing. SMSC is headquartered in New York and has offices and research facilities in North America, Asia, Europe and India. Additional information is available at www.smsc.com.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Crocus Technology and RUSNANO announce plans for $300M MRAM plant

SUNNYVALE, Calif. — May 17, 2011 — Crocus Technology, a leading developer of MRAM technology, and RUSNANO, a premier nano-technology investment fund, today announced that they have closed an agreement to create an MRAM manufacturing company, with a combined investment totaling $300 million. Under the terms of the agreement, Crocus and RUSNANO will form Crocus Nano Electronics (CNE), to build an advanced MRAM facility in Russia, capable of manufacturing medium to high density MRAM products based on Crocus' Thermally Assisted SwitchingTM (TAS) MRAM technology at 90nm and 65nm lithographies.

Approximately $125 million will be invested in the first year for setting up CNE's MRAM facility in Russia. In addition, Rusnano along with Crocus' existing investors CDC Innovation, Ventech, IDInvest Partners, NanoDimension, and Sofinnova Ventures will make an equity investment of $55 million into Crocus. An additional $120 million is slated to be deployed in subsequent years to increase production capability of the MRAM facility. Further investment to support upgrades to 45nm and finer lithographic processing is also incorporated into this agreement.

"RUSNANO's investment reflects their commitment to breaking down international divides to stimulate the global nano-technology industry," said Bertrand F. Cambou, executive chairman of Crocus Technology. "We are pleased that RUSNANO has chosen to invest in Crocus' technology and is actively participating in building a unique Russian-based manufacturing facility that will serve a global market."

The Russia-based CNE facility will utilize Crocus' technology to create the first dedicated magnetic memory wafer fab in the world capable of high volume manufacturing of MRAM devices on 300mm wafers with 90nm and 65nm feature sizes. The factory will be designed to add MRAM specific processing layers to standard CMOS foundry wafers. The production facility is scheduled to be in operation within two years and will be capable of producing up to 500 wafers per week. Expanded capacity of up to 1000 wafers per week is anticipated under a second phase of investment. In addition, CNE and Crocus plan to create a Learning Center and a Development Ecosystem for advanced memory design and production in the Russian Federation. Crocus will invest over $5 million initially into Russian research organizations to develop advanced manufacturing solutions. This research investment will expand over time to include system-on-chip (SOC) capabilities for secure memory, network processing, and advanced computing.

CNE's 90nm & 65nm manufacturing capability will enable Crocus to offer much higher density MRAM devices than currently available. Products manufactured by CNE will be marketed and sold worldwide by Crocus, excluding Russia and other former CIS states, while CNE will market directly within the former CIS. Crocus products sourced by CNE will address key markets such as storage, mobile communications, networking and cloud computing. In addition to general purpose memory applications, Crocus' TAS MRAM technology will serve specific uses in smartcards, network processing, biometric authentication, near-field communications (NFC), and secure memory. The unlimited endurance, non-volatility, and fast read/write performance of Crocus' MRAM technology are extremely valuable for many of these applications. Crocus' technology will be available for use in both standalone and embedded applications, addressing a total market opportunity of more than $40 billion per year.

The CNE joint venture will be complementary to Crocus' previously announced wafer foundry partnership with TowerJazz, which has successfully entered the final qualification stage, with production ramp of 130nm MRAM devices planned for late 2011. In addition, Crocus will continue to work with SVTC, its process integration R&D partner in San Jose, CA, to develop key manufacturing process steps to be used by CNE.

In this transaction Crocus was represented by Pinot de Villechenon & Associes in matters of French law and by CMS in matters of Russian law.

About Crocus Technology 
Crocus is a leading developer of magnetoresistive random access memory (MRAM) technology for dense, non-volatile, high-speed, scalable chip solutions for general and special purpose applications. The company's MRAM innovation originated in the Grenoble-based Spintec laboratory, a world-leading R&D center in Spintronics, affiliated with French national laboratories CEA and CNRS. The company will offer discrete, high density MRAM chips that target a wide variety of telecommunication, networking, storage, computing and handheld applications. The company also licenses its technology for both standalone and embedded chip applications. Crocus' MRAM technology is covered by a comprehensive patent portfolio. Find Crocus at: www.crocustechnology.com.

About RUSNANO 
RUSNANO's mission is to develop the Russian nanotechnology industry through co-investment in nanotechnology projects with substantial economic potential or social benefit. RUSNANO was established in March 2011 as an open joint-stock company through the reorganization of state corporation Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies, which was founded in 2007. With this reorganization, the establishment of nanotechnology infrastructure and training of nanotechnology specialists, which was formerly conducted by the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies, is now entrusted to the newly created non-commercial Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs. The government of the Russian Federation owns 100 percent of the shares in RUSNANO. Anatoly Chubais is chairman of the Executive Board of RUSNANO. To date, RUSNANO has committed 165 billion rubles ($US5.9 billion) to 110 projects with aggregate investments of 368 billion rubles ($US13.2 billion). More than 67 billion rubles ($US2.4 billion) has already been invested. For more information, please visit www.rusnano.com

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Xilinx acquires Modelware

LAS VEGAS, May 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- INTEROP -- Xilinx, Inc. (Nasdaq: XLNX) today announced a major expansion of its communications portfolio to accelerate the industry's implementation of new packet processing, switching, and traffic management solutions for meeting the exponential growth in demand for high-bandwidth and feature-reach quality of service (QoS). The expansion includes the acquisition of Modelware, a leading provider of traffic management/packet processing silicon intellectual property (IP) cores and reference designs that simplify system development and enable greater differentiation for networking applications supporting 10G, 40G, 100G and beyond. Along with the expansion, Xilinx is introducing the industry's first Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA)-based 100G traffic management reference design to help customers speed their evaluation and implementation of high bandwidth packet processing applications.

"By delivering a highly integrated solution encompassing packet processing/traffic management and an array of connectivity IP cores, together with their reference design, Xilinx is addressing the critical time to market and total cost of ownership requirements of equipment makers gearing up for the high bandwidth-granular services roll-outs underway by service providers, enterprise and data center operators," said Matthias Machowinski of Infonetics Research.

"By augmenting FPGAs that are already fine-tuned for high-bandwidth communications technology with Modelware's traffic management/packet processing portfolio, Xilinx will be extending and accelerating its ability to deliver the benefits of industry-leading programmable platforms to our large base of wired communications customers," said Krishna Rangasayee Corporate Vice President & General Manager, Xilinx Communications Business Unit. "Essentially, we are providing customers with a one stop shop that can help them address high bandwidth challenges, million-connection-network needs, and enable system capabilities that satisfy evolving demands for Quality of Service."

The Modelware acquisition strengthens Xilinx's ability to deliver FPGA-optimized packet processing, switching, and traffic management solutions that address very granular (trending to 1+ million queues) per-flow bandwidth provisioning as well as scalable high-bandwidth traffic aggregation capabilities (20G to 100G and beyond) across the service provider, enterprise networking and data center markets. Today, Modelware has the only FPGA-based IP capable of scaling to up to 100G + and running traffic rates at 150 million packets-per-second with 64B packet size on a single FPGA.

Traditionally, ASSP and network processor vendors have addressed the communications industry's challenges by either overbuilding their silicon with multiple sets of features, or adding post deployment software upgrade services, which in either case can lead to hidden costs. Over the past two to three years, service providers and system operators have been looking for "hitless" in-system upgrades and OEM vendors have turned to programmable logic to build systems that can scale, be flexible, field upgradable, customized to specific needs and offer lower total cost of ownership.

Modelware's solutions consists of very scalable, highly optimized IP cores purposefully tuned for Xilinx® FPGAs and deployed across the spectrum of packet processing, switching, and traffic management systems. Today, customers can build 100G traffic management systems based around the Virtex-6 HXT FPGAs now in production, which offer industry-leading serial bandwidth through a combination of 6.6 Gbps GTX transceivers and 11.18 Gbps GTH transceivers. As system architects look in their next generation systems to reach higher bandwidth – as well as expand the number of hierarchies, increase the number of flows and relevant per-flow policing, marking and shaping controls, on top of expanding the total number of high bandwidth ports – Xilinx's unified FPGA architecture offers a wider range of choices via migration to its 28nm 7-series FPGA families. Kintex-7 and Virtex-7 FPGAs support a wide array of memory controllers and high memory bandwidth to address the most demanding packet processing and traffic management configurations. Enabling the highest port density of any FPGA in its class, the Kintex-7 FPGA family supports up to 32, 12.5 Gbps transceivers while the Virtex-7 HT FPGA family offers up to 72, 13.1 Gbps , in combination with up to 16 , 28 Gbps transceivers.

The Modelware technology also encompasses several legacy cores such as HDLC, ATM, PWE3, which Xilinx will continue to use in order to support legacy installations such as the mobile backhaul space, and help customers with maintaining existing deployments and offer an easy migration path from TDM to all-IP solutions without a need for new hardware.

About Xilinx

Xilinx is the worldwide leader in complete programmable logic solutions. For more information, visit www.xilinx.com.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Solarflare Announces Sale of 10GBASE-T Assets

IRVINE, Calif. – May 9, 2011 – Solarflare, the leader in high-performance, low-latency 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) server adapters and software, due to recent key business milestones, product accomplishments and customer opportunities, announced today its exit from the physical layer (PHY) business through the sale of the company’s 10GBASE-T assets to an unnamed merchant semiconductor company, the details of which cannot be disclosed. This deal will enable Solarflare's existing 10GBASE-T customers to continue to use the company's leading 10GBASE-T products.

"Our deal to sell the 10GBASE-T business is good for our current installed base of 10GBASE-T customers who will now benefit from having continued support for the best 10GBASE-T product on the market," said Russell Stern, CEO at Solarflare. "We have now reached critical mass. Solarflare will continue to build on its success in the 10GbE server adapter market by growing share in high frequency trading and HPC segments, and launching solutions targeting the virtualization and big data segments. We're excited by what the rest of 2011 will bring to the company."

About Solarflare

Solarflare is the pioneer in high-performance, low-latency 10GbE server networking solutions. Our architectural approach combines hardware and software to deliver high-performance adapter products and application acceleration middleware for superior performance in a wide range of applications, including financial services, high performance computing (HPC), cloud computing, storage and virtualized data centers. Our products are used globally by many of the world's largest companies, and are available from leading distributors and value-added resellers, as well as from Dell and HP. Solarflare is headquartered in Irvine, California and has an R&D site in Cambridge, UK.

Note: The buyer is rumored to be Marvell Semiconductor

NVIDIA acquires Icera

SANTA CLARA, Calif.—May 9, 2011— NVIDIA announced today that it has agreed to acquire Icera, a leading innovator of top-performing baseband processors for 3G and 4G cellular phones and tablets.

Icera has more than 550 patents granted or pending worldwide, and its high speed wireless-modem products have been approved by more than 50 carriers across the globe. By combining the companies’ products and technologies, including NVIDIA’s Tegra processor, NVIDIA will enhance its position as a leading player in the growing mobile market.

The acquisition, for $367 million in cash, has been approved by both companies’ boards of directors and is expected to be completed, subject to customary closing conditions, in approximately 30 days. The transaction is expected to be slightly dilutive on an operating basis through the first half of calendar 2012, and accretive on an operating basis in the second half of calendar 2012. This expectation does not take into account significant revenue synergies that the companies anticipate.

By offering the two main processors used in smartphones (the application processor and baseband processor), the combined company will help OEM customers both improve their time to market and deliver the requirements of next-generation mobile computing. NVIDIA will also have approximately doubled its revenue opportunity within each device.

The market for baseband processors is one of the fastest growing segments of the technology industry, worth an estimated $15 billion a year. Icera will be able to leverage NVIDIA’s momentum in the smartphone and tablet markets to capitalize on this growth.

Background on Icera

Icera is a pioneer in next-generation, multi-protocol wireless baseband processors with RF components. Its technology scales from 2G to 4G networks, using a custom-built, ultra-low-power processor. Because the baseband is software-based, manufacturers can develop multiple products from a common platform, reduce development costs, accelerate time to market and secure a route to support future baseband standards.

Icera’s third-generation Livanto line of chipsets delivers the industry’s fastest data rates, cuts user wait times, reduces battery drain and supports multiple standards on the same hardware. And its forthcoming Espresso®450 and Espresso®500 line of platforms provides industry-leading performance for 2G, 3G and 4G networks, low-power optimization for voice and high-speed data, and the industry’s smallest form factor. Its portfolio of products will expand significantly in the near future.

Founded in 2002 and based in Bristol, England, the company has approximately 300 employees in seven countries in Europe and Asia, as well as the U.S. It was established by a group of senior executives with strong, shared backgrounds in microprocessor design and cellular communications.