Week In Review: Design, Low Power

Rambus buys Northwest Logic; new Silvaco CEO; SystemC public repository.


Rambus will acquire Northwest Logic, a maker of digital controller IP for memory, PCIe and MIPI. “Northwest Logic’s category-leading digital controllers fit perfectly with Rambus’ leadership portfolio of high-speed PHY solutions,” said Northwest Logic president and CEO Brian Daellenbach. “This deal creates a one-stop-shop for SoC designers working on state-of-the-art applications across a broad range of high-performance markets. We look forward to continue serving our existing customers and working with our PHY partners.” Northwest Logic was founded in 1995 and is based in Oregon. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition is expected to close this quarter.

Accellera debuted a public repository for supplemental material related to its standards. Hosted on GitHub, the repository will initially contain the SystemC reference implementation and the latest bug fixes, which will be available to the community to clone or fork for their specific use.

Babak Taheri has been named the new CEO for Silvaco.  Previously, Taheri was the company’s CTO and executive vice president of products. Taheri has also held executive positions in engineering, R&D, and corporate management at Freescale, Cypress Semiconductor, Apple, Invensense, and SRI International. Silvaco’s former CEO, David Dutton, will remain on the Board in the position of Vice-Chairman.

Agile Analog received funding from the Innovate UK government agency. The project, totaling around £1 million (~$1.22M), will be 45% funded by Innovate UK, will be used to accelerate new product development, including new categories of IP that can be integrated for more complex analog systems.

Intel will continue investing in 5G, but for non-smartphone applications such as PCs or autos, said CEO Bob Swan in an interview with CNBC after last week’s announcement that Apple would acquire the majority of Intel’s smartphone modem business in a $1 billion deal. “We’re looking forward to putting our full effort into 5G where it most closely aligns with the needs of our global customer base, including network operators, telecommunications equipment manufacturers and cloud service providers.” Apple was the sole customer for Intel’s 5G smartphone modems, said Swan, and does not think it an area that would differentiate growth for the industry. Instead, chips for data centers and the cloud will be a major focus: “The technologies and the architectures that we’re building for this data center of the world will become a bigger and bigger part of the company.”

Rambus reported second quarter 2019 financial results with $58.3 million in revenue, up 3.2% from the second quarter of 2018. On a GAAP basis, Q2 2019 saw a net loss per share of $0.33, compared to a net loss per share of $0.14 in the same quarter last year. Non-GAAP earnings per share were $0.00 in Q2 2019, improved from a loss per share of $0.03 in Q2 2018. The company’s Server DIMM Chipset business saw significant growth and is on track to grow 50% for the year.

Find upcoming semiconductor industry events here, including the upcoming Flash Memory Summit and the Hot Chips Conference.

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