Tue, Aug. 30, 11:54 AM
Mon, Jul. 18, 2:09 AM
- SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY) has acquired chip designer ARM Holdings (NASDAQ:ARMH) for £24.3B ($32B), as the Japanese telecoms giant bolsters its presence in the growing Internet of Things sector.
- The deal will see SoftBank pay £17 in cash for each share in ARM, a 43% premium to its closing price last week, marking the largest ever purchase of a European technology company.
- ARMH +43.6% premarket
Tue, Mar. 22, 10:28 AM
- Tech news site Ars Technica reports Apple (AAPL +1.1%) is in "advanced talks" to buy U.K.-based Imagination Technologies (OTCPK:IGNMF), whose PowerVR GPU cores are used within Apple's A-series processors. Imagination is up 19.6% in London; its market cap stands at $869M.
- Acquiring Imagination would further add to Apple's chip R&D efforts. Right now, those efforts include designing the A-series chips and the custom ARM CPU cores that go into them, the M9 motion co-processor, and fingerprint sensor and LCD timing controller ICs.
- Apple already owns an 8.4% stake in Imagination, and has often trumpeted the graphics capabilities of its hardware - yesterday, the company declared the A9X processor going into the iPad Pro has more GPU power than an Xbox 360. Apple could presumably buy Imagination with offshore cash.
- An Apple/Imagination deal could spell an opportunity for ARM (ARMH -0.3%), whose Mali GPU cores compete with Imagination's PowerVR line, to take share at non-Apple Imagination customers such as Samsung. iPhone/iPad audio codec supplier Cirrus Logic (CRUS -1.1%) is down slightly - Imagination's product line includes voice pre-processing IP, but GPU cores drive the lion's share of the company's business.
- Apple is trading higher a day after revealing the 4" iPhone SE and the 9.7" iPad Pro.
- Update (11:34): Apple says it doesn't plan to make an offer to buy Imagination, while adding it did hold talks with the company.
Oct. 20, 2015, 7:12 PM
- Ahead of Wednesday morning's Q3 report, ARM (NASDAQ:ARMH) has disclosed the purchase of products and other assets of Carbon Design Systems, a U.S.-based provider of virtual (software-based) prototyping software for ARM SoC developers, for an undisclosed sum. Carbon's staff will be joining ARM.
- ARM, which plans to sell Carbon's products through its IP exchange: "The integration of Carbon's virtual prototyping products into the ARM portfolio will deliver access to ARM IP earlier in the design cycle ... Carbon has created a comprehensive library of ARM processor and system models that can be extended easily to create cycle-accurate virtual prototypes of any new ARM-based SoC ... [Carbon] already works with the worlds leading semiconductor vendors, all of whom license ARM processor IP."
- Separately, ARM has unveiled the Mali-470, a low-power GPU core for embedded/wearable devices (a source of much of the company's CPU core unit growth). ARM claims a 2x improvement in energy efficiency relative to the older Mali-400, as well as a 10% less die space. Power efficiency and performance improvements are also promised relative to the prior-gen Mali-450.
- The 470 squares off against GPU cores from market leader Imagination (OTCPK:IGNMF). ARM inked 9 Mali GPU licenses in Q2. The smart TV market has been a strong point for the platform.
- Prior ARM acquisitions
Jun. 1, 2015, 1:02 PM
- The WSJ reports ARM (ARMH -0.2%) is in talks to buy Sansa Security, an Israeli provider of a mobile/IoT security platform encompassing chip IP for a trusted code execution environment, a client software stack, server-based provisioning software, and secure apps (called Trustlets) pre-integrated with the chip IP. Sources state the deal "could close within the month and is expected to be worth between $75 million and $85 million."
- Sansa, which has been around since 2000, claims its technology ships within 150M devices/year and 55% of all high-end mobile devices. Chip partners include ARM, Intel, Qualcomm, Nvidia, and Freescale; hardware partners include Samsung, Microsoft, Lenovo, and HTC.
- Sansa's chip IP is a natural complement to ARM's CPU and GPU core offerings. The company already offers licensees its TrustZone security platform (integrates with ARM CPU cores), as well as its SecurCore security processor cores (used in smart cards, among other things).
- Prior ARM software acquisitions: Wicentric (Bluetooth), Offspark (embedded security), Sensinode (embedded Web connectivity)
May 27, 2015, 3:00 PM
- Chip stocks are posting outsized gains (SOXX +4%) amid a 1.3% increase for the Nasdaq after the WSJ reported Avago and Broadcom are in advanced merger talks, sparking hopes for further M&A.
- A Broadcom/Avago deal would be worth ~$67B at current valuations, easily making it the largest in the chip industry's breathless consolidation wave. It would also touch markets ranging from smartphones to set-tops to servers to switches/routers.
- Notable gainers include Avago RF chip peers Skyworks (SWKS +4.3%), Qorvo (QRVO +3.2%), and Anadigics (ANAD +4.9%). Others include Micron (MU +3.8%), SanDisk (SNDK +4.3%), NXP (NXPI +3.5%), Silicon Motion (SIMO +8.3%), Cirrus Logic (CRUS +4.8%), STMicroelectronics, (STM +3.4%), Synaptics (SYNA +3.4%), Atmel (ATML +2.8%), Cavium (CAVM +4.5%), Intersil (ISIL +4.6%), Semtech (SMTC +3.9%), ON Semi (ON +3.8%), Microsemi (MSCC +4.4%), and IDT (IDTI +4.2%).
- Non-chipmakers tied to the industry are also doing well. Standouts include ARM (ARMH +4.4%), Amkor (AMKR +4.6%), ASML (ASML +3.1%), and Rambus (RMBS +3.3%).
- Chip ETFs: SMH, XSD, PSI, SOXL, USD, SOXS, SSG
Apr. 16, 2015, 2:21 PM
- ARM (ARMH -1.4%) has acquired Wicentric, provider of a software stack and service profiles for the low-power Bluetooth Smart protocol (increasingly used in embedded/wearable devices), and Sunrise Micro (SMD), a developer of radio IP that enables sub-1V Bluetooth operation. Terms are undisclosed.
- The deals follow the purchase of Dutch embedded security software vendor Offspark and embedded Web connectivity software provider Sensinode.
- ARM, which is looking to fend off Intel in an embedded/wearables space widely seen as a huge unit growth opportunity, launched its mbed IoT platform last fall, and recently followed up by launching its IFC hardware/software framework for connected ARM-based devices. Q1 results arrive on April 21.
- See also: New ARM-based Atmel microcontrollers said to enable 10-year battery lives
Feb. 9, 2015, 12:27 PM
- ARM (ARMH -0.5%) has acquired Offspark, a Dutch provider of software that allows smartphones, communications modules, and sensor modules to support the Transport Layer Security protocol (TLS, the successor to SSL). Terms are undisclosed.
- Offspark's PolarSSL TLS solution will be integrated with ARM recently-launched mbed IoT platform, which provides an OS, device server software, and developer tools for embedded devices running on chips sporting ARM CPU cores.
- Though typically using less powerful cores carrying lower royalty rates, microcontrollers going into embedded devices are driving much of ARM's unit growth. Shipments of ARM-based chips rose 19% Y/Y in Q2 to ~3B, with microcontrollers and smart cards accounting for more than 1.1B.
- ARM bought embedded Web connectivity software provider Sensinode last summer. Earnings are due on Wednesday morning.
Jan. 22, 2015, 2:54 PM
- Amazon (AMZN +4.3%) has acquired Annapurna Labs, an Israeli chipmaker that has provided few details about the silicon it's working on. The NYT reports the purchase price is $350M. The WSJ previously reported of a $350M deal price, while adding the final tab could be $375M if certain conditions are met.
- According to the WSJ's sources, Annapurna is developing "midrange networking chips for data centers, offering improvements over existing products in terms of information-transmission rates and power consumption." Israel's Calcalist reports the company is developing "microprocessors that allow fast data traffic for low-power computing servers and storage servers." It also notes CPU core giant ARM (NASDAQ:ARMH) is an investor.
- AWS' data centers contain hundreds of thousands of servers running Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) x86 CPUs. Though Amazon has downplayed the efforts of 3rd-party ARM server CPU vendors, it has also hired several key engineers from defunct ARM CPU vendor Calxeda, a move that has fueled speculation Amazon is prepping its own ARM server chips. Annapurna could assist with the effort.
- The news comes on a day in which Piper has assigned AWS a ~$32B valuation.
- Earlier: Amazon rallies following eBay's earnings
Jun. 17, 2014, 6:58 PM
- The consolidation wave that has hit the semi industry could soon yield tax inversion deals for foreign firms similar to deals seen in the healthcare industry, says FBR's Christopher Rolland.
- Inversion deals allow U.S. companies buying foreign firms to see lower tax rates if less than 80% of the equity in the new company is owned by legacy U.S. shareholders, and the post-merger company has substantial foreign ops.
- Rolland thinks ARM (ARMH), NXP (NXPI), Mellanox (MLNX), and Taiwan's MediaTek could be among the foreign companies targeted by U.S. chipmakers. Worth noting: Mellanox sells more than just chips, and ARM's business model depends on the company maintaining a neutral status within the industry.
- Meanwhile, Nomura's Romit Shah names 15 potential M&A candidates, and divides them into 3 groups: "Sub-scale companies" with high margins and strong IP; "strategic companies" with compelling product lines; and "undervalued companies."
- Shah's "sub-scale companies:" IDTI, ISIL, MTSI, MCRL, SMTC, SLAB.
- "Strategic companies:" ALTR, AMCC, ATML, CAVM, MPWR, BRCM ($22.5B market cap could make it tough to digest).
- "Undervalued companies:" DIOD, IRF, MSCC.
May 29, 2014, 6:57 PM
- ARM (ARMH) is acquiring Duolog Technologies, developer of a software platform (Socrates) meant to help SoC designers to configure and integrate chip IP Terms are undisclosed.
- ARM, whose CPU and GPU cores are used in plenty of advanced SoCs (especially in mobile), cites an interest in helping licensees deal with "increasing SoC integration complexity" as a reason for making the deal.
- Prior acquisitions: Sensinode, Geomerics, display controller IP,
Dec. 13, 2013, 6:48 PM
- ARM (ARMH) has bought Geomerics, a provider of global illumination lighting tech for 3D games. Terms are undisclosed. (PR)
- ARM states the acquisition will allow Geomerics to strengthen its existing partnerships with developers such as Electronic Arts, and will "accelerate" its mobile development efforts.
- Look for ARM to optimize Geomerics' technology for its Mali GPU cores, which have been gaining share against market leader Imagination (IGNMF) over the last two years.
- The deal comes three months after ARM bought display controller core IP from chip design software vendor Cadence.
Sep. 3, 2013, 1:38 PM
- ARM (ARMH +1.2%) is acquiring Cadence's (CDNS -1.3%) PANTA display controller core IP for an undisclosed sum. The acquired products include high-res display processor and display scaling coprocessor cores, both of which target high-end mobile devices and were developed in partnership with ARM.
- The products complement ARM's Mali GPU core line (seeing rapid unit growth), and give the CPU core giant one more product line to offer mobile chipmakers. The deal comes at a time when demand for high-res smartphone and tablet displays is taking off.
- Previous: ARM buys embedded device software vendor
Aug. 27, 2013, 10:29 AM
- ARM (ARMH -1.6%) has acquired Sensinode, developer of an end-to-end software platform for providing Internet connectivity and Web services for embedded devices via the low-power, low-resource 6LoWPAN standard. Terms are undisclosed. (PR)
- ARM uses a beloved IT buzzphrase, "the Internet of things," in its PR, and makes note of an IMS Research forecast predicting there will be 30B Web-connected devices by 2020.
- ARM naturally wants its CPU cores to be found inside a large portion of them; Sensinode expands the embedded software feature set ARM can bundle with its cores, as it targets applications such as wireless sensors, health monitors, and wearable computing devices.
- Though the powerful ARM CPU cores going into smartphones/tablets get more ink, the company has asserted the 30B-40B unit market for low-cost embedded chips is its biggest growth opportunity. As it is, ARM's share gains in this market (stemming heavily from microcontroller design wins) are contributing heavily to its unit shipment growth (+20% Y/Y in Q1 to 2.4B).
Dec. 10, 2012, 4:00 PM
Imagination Tech (IGNMF.PK) will now be paying MIPS (MIPS +1.2%) $80M to buy what will remain of it (i.e. its CPU core business) following a patent sale. Imagination's new offer trumps a $75M bid from CEVA (CEVA -0.3%), which in turn was above Imagination's original $60M offer. ARM (ARMH) would probably prefer that CEVA acquire what passes for its largest CPU core rival, rather than GPU core leader Imagination. MIPS' total proceeds from the two sales now stand at $7.64/share. (PR)| Dec. 10, 2012, 4:00 PM | 2 Comments
Nov. 20, 2012, 4:44 PMMIPS discloses it has received an unsolicited bid from CEVA to acquire what will remain of the company after a patent sale to an ARM-led consortium is finished for $75M in cash. That trumps a $60M offer from GPU core developer Imagination (IGNMF.PK). MIPS' board is evaluating the offer. If CEVA's offer wins out, MIPS' CPU core business would complement CEVA's DSP core business, and could also yield synergies for its chip platform business. MIPS halted. CEVA -0.6% AH. (PR) | Nov. 20, 2012, 4:44 PM | 2 Comments