The Week In Review: Design

Qualcomm buys ML startup; automotive IC growth; Synopsys’ results.


Qualcomm expanded its AI portfolio, acquiring machine learning startup Scyfer B.V., a spinoff of the University of Amsterdam. Founded in 2013, Scyfer has consulted on object classification, defect inspection, and traffic prediction projects across a range of industries. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Synopsys released third quarter financial results with revenue of $695.4 million, up 13% from Q3 last year. On a GAAP basis, earnings per share for the quarter were $0.75, up 78.6% from $0.42 in Q3 2016. Non-GAAP earnings stood at $0.92 per share for Q3 2017, up 21% from $0.76 per share in the same quarter last year. CEO Aart de Geus noted it was the strongest third quarter ever for hardware verification products. Synopsys raised revenue and non-GAAP earnings predictions for the year, and expects revenue of $642 million to $657 million in the next quarter.

Automotive ICs are one of the main forces driving semiconductor growth, says market research firm IC Insights, which predicts a 48% growth in Automotive Special Purpose Logic ICs and 18% growth for Automotive Application Specific Analog ICs this year. Alongside memory, the Industrial/Other Special Purpose Logic segment is also predicted to grow faster than the overall IC market this year, at 32%. Overall, the firm predicts 16% growth for the IC market.

SiFive, a provider of RISC-V SoCs and IP, named Naveed Sherwani as its new CEO. Sherwani was a founder and CEO of Open Silicon as well as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for Brite Semiconductor. Previously, he was founder and general manager of Intel Microelectronics after being a general manager with Intel. Former SiFive CEO Stefan Dyckerhoff will remain a member of the board of directors.

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