Cirrus Logic, Inc.NASDAQ
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.
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
Mar. 2, 2015, 1:41 PM
- The Philadelphia Semi Index (SOXX +2.4%) has rallied to new highs after NXP announced it's buying microcontroller, network processor, and RF amplifier supplier Freescale for $16.7B after factoring net cash/debt, the biggest deal yet in the chip industry's ongoing consolidation wave. The Nasdaq is up 0.5%.
- Microcontroller makers are among today's big gainers - NXP/Freescale assert they'll be the world's biggest supplier of general-purpose microcontrollers. Standouts include Atmel (ATML +6%) and STMicroelectronics (STM +3.4%), as well as Cypress (CY +3.1%) and merger partner Spansion (CODE +3.2%).
- Other notable gainers include InvenSense (INVN +3.4%), Ambarella (AMBA +6.3%), Audience (ADNC +5.5%), Cirrus Logic (CRUS +3.7%), Cavium (CAVM +4.2%), ON Semi (ONNN +3.5%), Silicon Motion (SIMO +3.5%), InPhi (IPHI +3.8%), and TowerJazz (TSEM +5.5%).
- With the Mobile World Congress as a backdrop, InvenSense has unveiled a 6-axis SoC that pairs a gyroscope and acceleromoter with a motion processor and related software/algorithms; the company claims 25%-50% better power consumption than rival solutions. It has also launched a software library meant to "provide sensor-assisted positioning in places where GNSS alone cannot provide desired accuracy."
- Cavium has announced its OCTEON Fusion-M processor line for mobile base stations. The chips support up to 16 custom CPU cores running at 2GHz., and are declared by Cavium to enable "Smart Radio Heads" that can adapt to network conditions. They begin sampling in Q3.
- Chip ETFs: SMH, XSD, PSI, SOXL, USD, SOXS, SSG
- Previously: Chip product launches: ARMH, EZCH, BRCM, NXPI, XLNX, IDTI
Apr. 29, 2014, 7:53 AM
- Cirrus Logic (CRUS) is buying British rival Wolfson Microelectronics (WLFMF) for £2.35/share, or £278M ($467M), in cash. The price represents a 75% premium to Wolfson's Monday close in London
- Like Cirrus, Wolfson offers audio codec, amplifier, converter, and power management chips. The company also sells MEMS microphones (InvenSense recently entered this growing market), HD audio software (Cirrus thinks it could help differentiate its own products), noise cancellation chips, and several other audio products.
- Also like Cirrus, Wolfson has had its chips designed into Apple hardware. But with the company nowhere as Apple-dependent as Cirrus, the acquisition represents a fresh attempt to diversify away from its top client.
- Cirrus expects to close the deal in 2H14, and for it to be accretive in its first full quarter after closing.
- The acquisition could have implications for voice processor/audio codec developer Audience (ADNC), which competes to an extent against both Cirrus and Wolfson. Cirrus bought voice-processing tech developer Acoustic Technologies last October.
Oct. 1, 2013, 5:04 PM
- Cirrus (CRUS) has acquired Acoustic Technologies, a developer of voice-processing algorithms that cover noise reduction, echo cancellation, and voice quality enhancement, among other things. Terms are undisclosed. (PR)
- Accoustic, founded in 1998, has seen its technology integrated into a variety of mobile and automotive products. The company's 30-employee team is joining Cirrus.
- The acquisition could make Cirrus a tougher rival to Audience (ADNC), whose processors (and the algorithms baked into them) also aim to suppress noise and improve voice quality. And it might allow Cirrus to grow the amount of revenue it gets per audio codec chip sale to Apple and/or others.