Friday, March 8, 2019
Dialog is to buy Silicon Motion Technology’s Mobile Communications product line, branded as FCI.
The move follows last October’s sale of its PMIC business to Apple for $600 million with $300 million being paid early this year and the other three million over the next three years.
Dialog has been looking to diversify after Apple sales topped 50% of its business. It pursued a merger with AMS which fell through and bought Silego for its configurable mixed signal ICs.
Silicon Motion’s FCI business specialises in mobile TV SoCs in T-DMB and ISDB-T, with RF tuner- demodulator SoC solutions for smartphones, tablets and automotive Portable Navigation Devices (PNDs).
The acquisition provides Dialog with a portfolio of complementary Connectivity-based products that includes Ultra-Low-Power Wi-Fi System-on-Chip (SoCs) and Modules, Mobile TV SoCs and Mobile Communication transceiver ICs.
In Q4 2018, FCI began ramping production of their first Ultra-Low-Power Wi-Fi SoC (FC9000) and accompanied this with a range of fully Wi-Fi certified module solutions, including integrated antenna options.
Their product range is designed specifically to meet the demands of battery powered IoT devices enabling direct connectivity to internet Access Points (APs), while providing banking grade security. A complete software stack together with turn-key reference designs and evaluation platforms delivers a total low- power system solution.
“The acquisition of Silicon Motion’s Mobile Communications product line provides Dialog customers with Ultra-Low-Power Wi-Fi SoCs and complete modules that are certified and designed to meet the demands of today’s battery powered IoT devices,” says CEO Jalal Bagherli (pictured), “ultra-Low-Power Wi-Fi is a strong strategic fit for Dialog with the opportunity to combine Wi-Fi and Bluetooth low energy chips and modules selling into our complementary IoT, consumer and automotive markets. Together, we will increase the value we can bring to our customers by building a more diversified low-power connectivity offering.”
Dialog specialises in low-power technologies and has established itself as a leader for Bluetooth low energy SoC’s and Configurable Mixed- Signal ICs (CMICs) across IoT applications.
To date, Dialog has shipped more than 250 million units of Bluetooth low energy SoC’s into IoT applications. The addition of Ultra- Low-Power Wi-Fi strongly positions Dialog to drive future integration with optimized combo solutions firmly on the roadmap.
Silicon Motion’s Mobile Communications reported approximately $30 million revenue in 2018 from all its current product lines, with sales primarily generated from its Mobile TV SoCs. The ultra-low power performance of the new Wi-Fi product line has achieved full Wi-Fi certification and passed all interoperability tests with an extensive range of routers.
Several world class customers have already integrated both the Wi-Fi SoC and complete Wi-Fi modules into their products creating a great foundation for future revenue growth.In addition to the current product lines, the acquisition also brings to Dialog a broad range of new technologies and engineering capabilities with extensive design expertise in RF wireless communications for cellular 4G and 5G, Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) transceiver, power amplifiers and deep sub-micron chip design.
Combined with Dialog’s extensive configurable mixed signal, low power and connectivity expertise, this acquisition will provide a platform to create and combine a range of new products.
Bagherli has pointed to the need to extend Dialog’s connectivity offering into new channels. Wi-Fi-enabled sensors that can be monitored remotely, with a battery life extending for years, are one such opportunity.
Dialog will take on a 100-strong engineering team based in South Korea as part of the deal to buy FCI, which had 2018 revenue of $30 million. The transaction is expected to complete this year.
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