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Dialog on the hunt for acquisitions

Posted: 26 Feb 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:power management ICs? RF chip? mixed-signal?

Dialog Semiconductor is looking to buy companies that offer services that are "very complementary" to what the German fabless firm does today, especially since its sales revenue is growing strong, particularly across its line of power management ICs.

Mark Tyndall, vice president of business development and corporate strategy at Dialog, said that the company took out a convertible loan for about $200 million a year ago with the intention of doing an acquisition, but things have not quite worked out as yet. "We've been looking at different targets over the last year," he told EE Times.

When asked if it could be something in the memory area, such as memory controller for non-volatile memory, Tyndall said: "We don't sell commodity parts. Our expertise is in mixed-signal and particularly for portable platforms." Tyndall agreed an IP company that has developed market-leading core or family of cores in an adjacent market place could be attractive.

But Tyndall said that in the most of the markets where it already plays the company already has the leading cores. Besides this he said Dialog's three strengths are: "The ability to integrate; packaging; and speed of execution."

Tyndall explained that the first is demonstrated by Dialog's ability to bring more mixed-signal cores together reliably than the competition. The second by the adoption of digital-style packages to accommodate large numbers of I/Os but applied to mixed-signal and power applications. The third is self-explanatory but is highly valued by customers.

Meanwhile the hunt for the complementary acquisition goes on. But sometimes strategic investment is a better use of the cash and Dialog is prepared to move into venture capital mode. "We invested in Arctic Sand at the end of last year. It is a spin-off from MIT with an interesting buck-boost dc-dc architecture and we do talk to a lot of start-ups."

- Peter Clarke
??EE Times

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