Intel Buys eASIC to Add Structured ASICs to Its Portfolio

Today’s topics include Intel acquiring longtime partner eASIC to add structured ASICs to its product lineup, and Microsoft challenging Slack with a free version of its Teams collaboration tool.

Intel is acquiring longtime partner eASIC, a maker of structured ASICs, which are chips that combine the performance and power efficiency found in standard-cell ASICs with the cost efficiency and faster design time of a field-programmable gate array.

According to Dan McNamara, corporate vice president and general manager of Intel’s Programmable Solutions Group, “[ASICs] can be used to optimize performance and power-efficiency. A structured ASIC is an intermediary technology between [field-programmable gate arrays] and ASICs. The addition of eASIC will help [Intel] meet customers’ diverse needs of time-to-market, features, performance, cost, power and product life cycles.”

The 19-year-old eASIC will become part of Intel’s Programmable Solutions Group after the deal closes in the third quarter of this year. No financial details of the deal were announced.

Microsoft Corporate Vice President Ron Markezich announced on July 12 that Teams, the company’s chat-based group collaboration tool, is now available in a free version.

This move allows Microsoft to match the free product offered by its popular rival, Slack, and will put more pressure on Slack to attract small and midsized businesses to its platform, according to AvePoint Chief Marketing Officer Dux Raymond Sy. "With this new freemium model, it's hard to see how smaller organizations would choose Slack for their chat-based collaboration over the superior integration and security features that Microsoft Teams provides," said Sy.

The free version of Teams supports up to 300 users and provides unlimited chat and search functionality. It also includes Skype-like individual and group calling capabilities along with 10GB of group cloud storage and an additional 2GB per user.