AppliedMicro Looks to Make Push in Semiconductor Space

AppliedMicro-formerly known as Applied Micro Circuits-is planning to put its engineering efforts into creating energy-efficient semiconductor devices, bringing the company into closer competition with the likes of Intel, Samsung, Qualcomm and AMD. The market is seeing a rebound after a difficult start to 2009, thanks in large part to the demand for chips for consumer electronics and wireless devices.

Applied Micro Circuits has a new name and a new direction.

Company officials announced Nov. 30 that the new name is AppliedMicro and that they are looking to push farther into the semiconductor space currently dominated by the likes of Intel, Samsung Electronics, Qualcomm and Advanced Micro Devices.

AppliedMicro is expecting that its ability to design semiconductor devices that use up to 50 percent less power than competing products will enable it to gain traction in the competitive market, according to President and CEO Paramesh Gopi.

"While higher performance continues to be an industry driver, energy efficiency will play a more prominent role in the design considerations and purchasing decisions for our customers in the data center and telecommunications industries," Gopi said in a statement. AppliedMicro's innovation will "radically lower the energy consumption of enterprise, data center and small business systems while simultaneously providing significant cost savings."

The company is looking to leverage its current intellectual property, patents and engineering capabilities to design and build semiconductor products for a variety of sectors, from network switches and routers to data center systems.

The company cited the move to an open foundry manufacturing process for its chips and migration of its designs to 40 and 28 nanometers as examples of its efforts to create highly efficient and cost-effective semiconductor products.

AppliedMicro also is opening new design centers in India and Vietnam.

"We are breaking new ground by applying mobile and handheld design techniques to telecommunications and infrastructure silicon solutions, producing unprecedented energy efficiencies without compromising performance," Gopi said. "AppliedMicro will set new standards for low-power, ultra-high-performance processors, framers, mappers, physical layer and optical data center devices that will drive a new era of energy-efficient infrastructure."

Gopi spearheaded the transition shortly after taking over as CEO in January, according to company officials. AppliedMicro sold its 3ware storage division to concentrate on its fabless semiconductor business.

Like most sectors of the IT industry, the semiconductor business took a hit from the global recession, but it appears to be rebounding.

According to a report from research firm iSuppli Nov. 23, overall revenue in the space for 2009 will drop 12.4 percent. However, iSuppli-after seeing revenue plummet in the last quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of this year-initially had predicted a revenue decline of more than 20 percent for 2009.

Fueling the rebound has been demand for memory and chips for consumer electronics and wireless devices, according to iSuppli.