According to a JP Morgan Securities Wall Street analyst, Intel may be soon in the market to acquire an FPGA supplier. Christopher Danely speculates that FPGA vendors such as Xilinx and Altera Corp. His report, entitled “Top 10 Semiconductor Predictions in 2010” lays out that 2010 may be an interesting year for acquisitions in the semiconductor space. Why an FPGA vendor? According to Danely, Intel has been gearing up its presence in the embedded space. As such, an FPGA technology organization would be key to command market share.
Danely said that both Actel Corp. and Lattice Semiconductor Corp. would be unlikely targets for Intel (Santa Clara, Calif.) because of their relatively small size. Xiliinx (San Jose, Calif.), the market leader in programmable logic, would make a more attractive target for Intel than No. 2 player Altera (San Jose), Danely wrote, because Xilinx has higher operating expenses and could offer Intel higher cost savings opportunities.
Danely goes on to speculate that the marriage of Xilinx FPGA technology and Intel’s leading-edge fab processes would be a match made in heaven. However, it would certainly come at a price. According to the article, Intel currently has roughly $13billion in cash on the books, while Xilinx has a market cap of $6.7 billion. Shareholders would likley expect a hefty premium in the event of a buyout by such a market giant. Either way, the speculation is interesting. Intel has made several key acquisitions in the past year. Cilk Arts and Wind River Systems would provide an interesting base for marketing developer tools to OEMs and end users of FPGAs and other embedded processors.
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