1Broadcom, Qualcomm Latest Acquirers in Busy Chip Space
2Qualcomm Gets Ready to Take the Wheel
Qualcomm’s $47 billion acquisition of NXP Semiconductors will give it a boost in such fast-growing industries as automotive technologies and IoT. The deal continues Qualcomm’s efforts to grow beyond mobile devices, which have included other acquisitions such as British chip maker CSR for $2.5 billion in 2014. There were reports that Intel and Texas Instruments also were interested in NXP.
3NXP Still Digesting Freescale
4Broadcom in the Middle of It All
In a bid to broaden its capabilities in storage-area networks (SANs), Broadcom officials this month announced the company was buying Brocade Communications for $5.9 billion. Broadcom’s focus is on Brocade’s SAN technology, and so officials plan to sell off Brocade’s IP networking business, including the recently acquired Ruckus Wireless.
5Avago Becomes Broadcom
Avago Technologies, which was born in 2005 after spinning out of Agilent—which itself had spun out of Hewlett-Packard in 1999—bought Broadcom in 2015 for $37 billion and adopted the Broadcom name. It was the highest-priced acquisition in the chip industry until Qualcomm’s bid for NXP. Since launching in 2005, Avago made several other acquisitions, including CyOptics, LSI and Emulex.
6Broadcom Makes WICED Deal With Cypress
7Intel Accelerates Into the Future
8Renesas and the IoT
9Softbank Flexes Its ARM
In a surprise move in July, tech giant Softbank announced it is buying chip designer ARM for $32.2 billion as it looks to extend its reach deeper into the IoT. Softbank officials pledge that ARM, which designs the SoCs that power the bulk of the smartphones and tablets in the world, will remain an independent company that will get an even larger workforce.
10China Comes Shopping and Buys Lattice
Canyon Bridge Capital Partners, backed by $1.3 billion in Chinese funding, announced earlier this month it is buying Lattice Semiconductor, a U.S.-based programmable chip maker whose products are found in connected cars. The deal is the latest effort by China-based entities to buy U.S. chip companies.
11Tsinghua on the Move
Tsinghua Unigroup of China also has been an active investor in and pursuer of chip makers. The company has bought stakes in Imagination Technologies, Marvell Technology and Lattice, but attempts to acquire other vendors—including Micron and MediaTek—have been derailed by regulators in the United States and Taiwan.
12So, Who’s Next?
13Making Room for New Blood
The comings and goings in the chip industry aren’t keeping startups from trying to muscle into the space. New companies including SiFive, developer of open-source SoCs based on the RISC-V architecture, and Graphcore, creator of chips for machine learning called intelligent processing units, or IPUs, see room for new ideas.