NXP Semiconductor has agreed to purchase Austin, Texas-based Freescale Semiconductor in a deal valued at $11.8 billion, creating a $40 billion chip giant that will be a dominant supplier for the internet of things. Both companies are large chip providers in automotive and sensor markets as well as microcontroller vendors. As the internet of things expands and makes the embedded market more of a monolithic industry like the PC and mobile markets, we’re going to see the chip firms act accordingly. That means consolidation.
AMD has named Lisa Su its new president and CEO replacing Rory Read who stepped down. Su has a tough road ahead of her.
Does the internet of things need an entirely different style of operating system? ARM thinks so. It upgraded mbed to bridge full-featured OSes and the real-time OSes for the embedded market.
There aren’t a lot of companies seeking to get into the chip design business nowadays, but Ineda Systems is bucking that trend with a new architecture aimed at wearables and the data center.
British academics and the Dutch electronics giant Philips have been working together on a new kind of transistor for many years, and now they say they’ve made enough progress to make the production of flexible electronics more viable.
According to venture legend John Doerr, Google is designing its own silicon for its data centers. But he stopped short of confirming rumors that the search giant was designing ARM-based chips as was reported in December. Doerr, speaking at a chip conference, also said that Facebook would be next. He’s right. Computing is the primary cost for Google, Amazon Web Services and Facebook and designing their own silicon could lower that cost. And thanks to more modular designs and advances in the ARM architecture, the cost of designing custom chips has fallen into a range where the benefits outweigh design costs.
IBM(s ibm) is considering a sale of its chip business, according to a report in the Financial Times. The article suggested that IBM may also look for a new partner with which it could spin off a joint venture, but either way it’s appointed Goldman Sachs(s gs) to see if anyone’s interested. IBM’s semiconductor business is very cutting-edge, experimenting with new materials and technologies such as photonics, graphene and carbon nanotubes. Its Power architecture is also used in some IBM servers and supercomputers such as Watson. IBM said last month that it was selling its x86-architecture server business to Lenovo, the same company that took on its PC business in 2004.
Chip startup Adapteva raised a $3.6 million Series B round today, but the interesting story is how long it took to get here and how it almost didn’t get the funds.
Avago Technologies (s avgo) has agreed to buy LSI Corp. (s LSI) for $11.15 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at $6.6 billion. The deal will add LSI’s enterprise storage capabilities to Avago’s networking and industrial businesses. As the data center consolidates and becomes more virtualized the chip industry is reacting with more integration. This deal can be seen as an extension of that trend.
The new version of the free operating system reduces the role of “random number generators” built into Intel and Via chips, most likely over fears that these mechanisms may have been compromised by intelligence agencies.