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The 10 Biggest Semiconductor News Stories Of 2021 (So Far)
The global chip shortage is easily the biggest story of the semiconductor industry this year, but there have been plenty of other major developments, including new product reveals, market share shakeups, mergers and acquisitions, new strategies, reorganizations and a new CEO for one of the most critical semiconductor companies in the industry.
9. Intel Reportedly Mulls SiFive, GlobalFoundries Acquisitions
Intel has reportedly explored buying two companies in recent months that would expand its processor IP portfolio and chip manufacturing capabilities — two moves that could benefit the company’s new IDM 2.0 hybrid manufacturing strategy.
In June, Bloomberg reported that the semiconductor giant reportedly offered $2 billion to acquire SiFive, an up-and-coming chip designer that competes with Arm using an open-source architecture called RISC-V. Intel has been involved with SiFive in multiple ways recently: Intel Capital has invested in SiFive. Intel has been working with SiFive to offer RISC-V manufacturing capabilities. And Intel most recently said it will be creating its own RISC-V processor development platform that will use several of SiFive’s new Performance P550 cores. Bloomberg said that the startup has received takeover offers from other parties as well as new investment interest.
In July, The Wall Street Journal reported that Intel is looking at acquiring GlobalFoundries in a move that would accelerate its plans to manufacture more chips for other companies. The Journal reported the deal could value GlobalFoundries, which spun out of AMD in 2009, at around $30 billion, according to unnamed people the Journal said were familiar with the matter. A few days after the report, GlobalFoundries CEO Tom Caulfield downplayed the report in an interview with Bloomberg, saying “there’s nothing there in that discussion,” and restated the company’s plan to go public next year.