10 Acquisitions That Have Rocked The Semiconductor Industry This Year

Chip Consolidation

Qualcomm announced Thursday it is acquiring NXP Semiconductors for $47 billion as the company looks to amp up its sales channels around the Internet of Things.

The San Diego, Calif. company's acquisition of NXP marks the largest semiconductor deal ever, surpassing Avago Technologies' acquisition of Broadcom Corp. earlier this year for $37 billion.

In addition to Qualcomm, the semiconductor industry consolidation has been going on for a while. In 2015, Western Digital bought SanDisk and Intel nabbed Altera – and that streak of acquisitions is continuing.

Following are the 10 biggest semiconductor acquisitions so far this year.

Qualcomm - NXP Semiconductor

Qualcomm said Thursday it is acquiring NXP Semiconductors for $47 billion – the biggest deal yet in the chip industry.

NXP Semiconductor's broad customer base and global network of distribution channel partners is essential for expanding Qualcomm's Internet of Things, automotive, security and networking footprint, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf said in a statement.

Eindhoven, Netherlands-based NXP Semiconductors specializes in developing chips for automotive systems including automotive radar, digital radios and transceivers. NXP also offers ARM-based, low-power microcontrollers for the IoT space, secure identification products, network processing and RF power products.

SoftBank - ARM

SoftBank in July said it plans to acquire mobile semiconductor design company ARM Holdings in an all-cash transaction valued at $32 billion as it aims to become a leader in the Internet of Things.

SoftBank, a computer software company, first broke into the mobile phone industry in 2006 by acquiring Vodafone's Japanese unit for $15 billion and digging deeper into telecommunications. Meanwhile, Cambridge, U.K.-based ARM got a head start in the mobile segment, unlike competitors like Intel, and its chip designs are in most smartphones, tablets and mobile devices across the world. The company gets royalties when mobile vendors like Apple, Samsung and Qualcomm adopt its designs.

Analog Devices – Linear Technology

Analog Devices in July agreed to buy Linear Technology in a $14.8 billion deal that could boost the combined company's prospects in the Internet of Things market.

Analog Devices said the deal nearly doubles its total addressable market from $8 billion to $14 billion.

"Our shared focus on engineering excellence and our highly complementary portfolios of industry-leading products will enable us to solve our customers' biggest and most complex challenges at the intersection of the physical and digital worlds," said Analog Devices CEO and President Vincent Roche in a statement. "We are creating an unparalleled innovation and support partner for our industrial, automotive, and communications infrastructure customers, and I am very excited about what this acquisition means for our customers, our employees, and our industry."

ON Semiconductor – Fairchild Semiconductor

ON Semiconductor in September announced it had acquired Fairchild Semiconductor in a $2.4 billion deal.

Fairchild Semiconductor specializes in analog products like haptic drivers and battery protection ICs, as well as automotive products like power modules.

"The acquisition of Fairchild is a transformative step in our quest to become the premier supplier of power management and analog semiconductor solutions for a wide range of applications and end-markets," said Keith Jackson, president and CEO of ON Semiconductor, in a statement. "Fairchild provides us a platform to aggressively expand our profitability in a highly fragmented industry."

Cypress Semiconductor - Broadcom

In April, Cypress Semiconductor said it would acquire Broadcom's wireless Internet of Things business and all related assets in a $550 million transaction. As part of Broadcom's IoT business, Cypress, San Jose, Calif., will get the company's Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and ZigBee IoT product lines and IP, as well as its WICED brand and developer ecosystem.

The acquisition will help Cypress strengthen its position in the major embedded systems markets, such as automotive and industrial, and help it tap into the high-growth consumer IoT market, a segment that includes wearable electronics and home automation solutions.

It will also combine Irvine, Calif.-based Broadcom's developer tools and connectivity technologies for IoT devices with Cypress' programmable SoC products that provide memory, computing and graphics processing for low-power devices.

Cisco – Leaba Semiconductor

Cisco Systems in March unveiled its plan to purchase networking chip designer Leaba Semiconductor for $320 million in cash and incentives.

Leaba is a fabless semiconductor company that provides innovative solutions for infrastructure challenges, according to their website. Leaba, a venture-backed company, will accelerate its innovation strategy and give products even more differentiation in the market, said Rob Salvango, Cisco's vice president of corporate business development, in a blog post.

"By combining Leaba's semiconductor expertise with the Cisco engineering team, we will accelerate our plans for Cisco's next-generation product portfolio and bring new capabilities to the market faster," Salvango wrote.

Renesas – Intersil

Renesas, a supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, in September announced it will acquire Intersil, which provides power management and precision analog solutions for $3.2 billion.

The Japanese company said that the acquisition will create a highly synergistic, complementary product portfolio of system solutions targeted at large opportunities in the automotive, industrial and IoT markets.

"By combining Renesas' market-proven microcontroller and system-on-chip products and technologies and Intersil's leading power management and precision analog capability, Renesas will be well positioned to address some of the most exciting opportunities in key areas such as automotive, industrial, cloud computing, healthcare, and the Internet of Things," said Renesas in a statement.

GigPeak – Magnum Semiconductor

GigOptix, which offers semiconductor communications components to use in cloud connectivity, data center and wireless networks, in April announced it would acquire Magnum Semiconductor for $55 million.

Magnum Semiconductor offers silicon ICs, SoCs, software and IP for the video broadcast and IoT camera markets. When the acquisition closed, GigPeaksaid that the two companies will be renamed GigPeak. The company also stressed that the acquisition expands and differentiates its GigPeak product portfolio and addressable markets and provides additional growth opportunities into the broadcasting, IoT and consumer markets.

"With the addition of Magnum Semiconductor, we have taken a meaningful step in expanding our product portfolio to further enhance our mission of enabling high-speed and high-quality information streaming end-to-end over the network, from the core to the consumer," said Dr. Avi Katz, GigOptix's Founder, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer, in a statement.

GlobalWafers – SunEdison Semiconductor

Silicon wafer manufacturer GlobalWafers in August announced that it will acquire SunEdison Semiconductor for $683 million. The company said that the purchase will help it expand its production capabilities, reach a greater breadth of product and customer bases, and increase its financial scale.

"We believe this combination is unique in that it merges two of the market's key suppliers with minimal overlap in customers, products and production capacities. The combined company will bring together GlobalWafers' unparalleled operating model and market strengths with SunEdison Semiconductor's expansive global footprint and product development capabilities," said Doris Hsu, Chairperson and CEO of GlobalWafers in a statement.

Intel – Movidius

Intel is looking to build up its RealSense perceptual technology platform, saying Monday it plans to acquire Movidius, a company that develops machine vision technology for Internet of Things devices.

San Mateo, Calif.-based Movidius' flagship product is its vision processing unit, which is a low-power, high-performance SoC platform for accelerating computing vision applications. The company also touts algorithms that are tuned to help enhance deep learning, depth processing, navigation, and mapping in devices.

Terms of the deal, including the transaction price, were not disclosed. As part of the acquisition, Intel said it will be able to deploy Movidius' technology as part of its RealSense offerings. The company also said the acquisition would bolster its augmented and virtual reality products, as well as robotics and digital security cameras.