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Dialog selects iWatt to boost PMIC strength

Posted: 04 Jul 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:PMICs? power supplies? smartphone? tablets?

Germany-based Dialog Semiconductor is set to buy power management IC (PMIC) pioneer iWatt for $310 million in cash. Dialog hopes its acquisition of the fabless company founded in 2000 will boost its position in PMICs for LED-based solid state lighting and AC/DC charger-adaptor power supplies. The deal has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies, and it is expected to close before the end of July 2013.

Dialog disclosed earlier this year that it had about $300 million to spend or invest (see Dialog on the hunt for acquisitions) and also said it has taken on additional debt of $125 million to help fund the acquisition of iWatt.

iWatt is privately held and so has not had to report its financial figures, but Dialog has revealed that iWatt did well in the 2012 financial year. Annual sales at the California firm were $74 million, up 46 per cent year-on-year, with a gross margin of 49 per cent. Since 2007 iWatt has shipped about 1 billion PMICs, according to Dialog.

The acquisition will provide Dialog with market leadership in PMICs for AC/DC charger-adaptors for smartphones and tablet computers and by 2015 will increase the size of markets that Dialog can address with its products by about $1.8 billion to $5.9 billion, Dialog said in a statement. The Dialog total available market is about half of the global power management semiconductor market of $11.5 billion that research firm Gartner predicts for 2015.

There is an opportunity to provide next-generation fast charger-adaptors, and Dialog believes it will also benefit from iWatt's strong presence in Asia.

Both the mobile device charger market and the LED lighting markets are placing an emphasis on power efficiency providing spectacular growth opportunities. Dialog said that LED lightbulb shipments are set to grow from 440 million units in 2012 to 2.7 billion units in 2016, referencing management consultancy McKinsey & Company as its source.

- Peter Clarke
??EE Times

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