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Zilog owner snaps up Samsung's 4 and 8bit microcontroller business

May 27, 2013 // Nick Flaherty

Zilog owner snaps up Samsung's 4 and 8bit microcontroller business

Zilog owner IXYS is to buy Samsung Electronics' 4 and 8-bit microcontroller business for approximately $50 million as Samsung shifts into mobile devices.

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As part of the agreement, IXYS will receive nearly 80 products - some based on Zilog cores - as well as inventories, intellectual property and other assets exclusively related to the 4 and 8-bit business. It will also extend its existing foundry deal with Samsung. The acquisition is expected to be completed within four weeks
"This acquisition provides increased revenues for our higher gross margin IC business, which includes our wholly-owned subsidiaries, IXYS IC Division and Zilog, a pioneer supplier of microcontrollers," said Dr. Nathan Zommer, Chairman and CEO of IXYS, which is headquartered in Biel, Switzerland and Milpitas, California. "We plan to gain market share for our MCU and IC products, and expand our customer base in industrial, medical and consumer applications. The 4-/8-bit products fit with our mixed signal ICs and our power semiconductors, whereby we will be able to offer our customers complete solutions for power management -- from the digital control analog driver ICs to higher power devices.
Furthermore, with this agreement we expand our foundry relationship with Samsung. We have been strategic partners with Samsung Electronics for more than 25 years, and are looking forward to expanding this business affiliation. Given that some of these MCUs were based originally on Zilogs legendary cores, we expect a seamless transition for the customer base and a quick integration within our Zilog MCU lines, said Zommer.
"We have executed a management decision based on the focus on mobile solutions that we are taking in our semiconductor business," said Dr. Ben Suh, Senior Vice President of Samsung Electronics System LSI Strategic Planning team. We are confident that IXYS will embrace the microcontroller initiatives started by Samsung and continue to generate new products into this important market.
According to recent research, the 4-/8-bit microcontroller segment is forecast to reach nearly $3.5 billion in 2013, with shipments of MCUs growing to 6.7 billion units. By some estimates, 4-/8-bit MCUs are expected to account for 23% of microcontroller sales in 2017.
Current 4-/8-bit products to be acquired by IXYS include MCUs for remote controllers, ultra-low power MCUs and a series of products for home appliances, consumer electronics and LCD displays. Applications include battery chargers, thermostats, boiler control, microwaves, e-bikes, LED lighting, power meters, blood pressure meters and smoke detectors.
"The products that we are gaining with Samsungs 4-/8-bit business are complementary to IXYS' current IC/MCU business, and therefore we see positive synergies going forward," said Uzi Sasson, President and CFO for IXYS. "This acquisition provides us with greater critical mass in product volumes, the potential for better financial performance and diversification of revenue, all of which can enhance our global position and growth initiatives in the microcontroller market. In addition to bolstering IXYS product portfolio, this transaction highlights the strong cooperative relationship with Samsung. We are excited about our ability to continue working and partnering with the Samsung team.
IXYS develops power semiconductors, solid-state relays, high voltage integrated circuits (HVIC) and microcontrollers with a focus on reducing energy costs and consumption by optimizing the energy efficiency of everyday products and the company has an end-customer base of over 3,500 telecommunications, transportation, industrial, medical and consumer companies.


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