Embedded Business News
Jun 7, 2013 - 2:51:53 PM
Big Z is putting on the gloves. Get ready for a fight!
IXYS Corporation, parent company of legacy and legendary microcontroller manufacturer Zilog, has entered into an agreement to purchase 4-bit and 8-bit Flash microcontroller product lines from South Korean semiconductor manufacturer Samsung Electronics for $50 Million.
Product familes include an enhanced 8051 and Zilog Z8-compatible microcontrollers.
Samsung Electronics' Product Familes Purchased by Zilog
The 8-bit microcontroller business is growing steadily and 2012 worldwide sales were around $4Billion. Although difficult to determine, the 8051 business is estimated to be around $1 Billion per year and is seeing strong growth in Southeast Asia. Zilog has already established a presence with the Zilog 8051 microcontroller family.
4-bit microcontrollers, while a small part of the overall microcontroller market, still see significant sales in ultra-low cost, ultra-high volume applications where fractions of a penny count. Many of the 8-bit microcontrollers found here can be found in battery chargers, smoke detectors, thermostats and blood pressure monitors. The microcontroller product familes listed here can be found in many popular home appliances, everything from rice makers to washing machines.
In 2010 Samsung Electronics was ranked #5 in 8-bit microcontroller sales dollars, above #6 Freescale and #4 STMicroelectronics. With this buy, Zilog is now back in the Top Ten, and when the math is done it's possible Zilog is now beating Freescale in 8-bit sales dollars.
According to Gartner, Samsung's 4-bit and 8-bit microcontroller sales in 2012 were $337M. Purchasing a $337M product line for $50 seems unusually low; however Zilog will be manufacturing these devices at Samsung Electronics's wafer fabs so it's a good guess that the foundry agreement ensures Samsung Electronics will still see profit from these successful product lines.
Samsung Electronics' foundries presently fab low-power CMOS at 90nm, 65nm, 45nm, 35nm, 18nm, and 13nm
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