Wheelings & Dealings: Intel to Buy Altera, Avago to Purchase Broadcom

By Paula Bernier June 01, 2015

Intel this week laid out plans to buy Altera for $16.7 billion in cash. The deal comes just days after Avago Technologies announced its intention to buy Broadcom for $37 billion.

Altera will bring to Intel its field-programmable gate array technology, which is more programmable than Intel’s semiconductors, and thus better able to address a broader scope of applications and to be altered as requirements evolve. Among the applications Altera has been talking about lately are high-definition video, intelligent vision-related systems, the Internet of Things, and virtual memory.

The company last month at an industry event demonstrated the use of its FPGA technology in intelligent vision-related systems, and Altera engineer Deshanand Singh spoke on the topic of "Efficient Implementation of Convolutional Neural Networks using OpenCL on FPGAs." He explained how convolutional neural network algorithms, which are becoming increasingly popular in embedded applications such as vision processing, can be expressed in OpenCL and compiled directly to FPGA hardware.

In April Altera joined the Industrial Internet Consortium and talked about how FPGAs enable intelligent and flexible IoT gateways and analytics acceleration.

“These platforms can benefit significantly from Altera’s hardware and software programmability, which can flexibly service fragmented application needs while offering the performance to cost-effectively accelerate analytics and security in the data center and IoT infrastructure,” David Moore, director of the industrial business unit at Altera, said at the time.

Image via Shutterstock

Late last year IBM promoted the fact that it was working with Altera on what they called the first FPGA-based acceleration platform. It uses the IBM Coherent Accelerator Processor Interface to connect an FPGA to a POWER8 CPU, which as a result can share virtual memory. The aim is to increase performance related to data center requirements in such areas as compression, encryption, image processing, and search.

The New York Times, which on May 29 reported a deal between Intel and Altera was likely, said two companies began discussions earlier this year, but Altera rejected Intel’s initial $54-per-share bid, after which Altera’s quarterly earnings fell below expectations. At that point, according to the Times, Altera investor TIG Advisors pushed for the company to reignite its conversation with Intel.

As indicated above, the Intel-Altera is just the latest recent pairing of semiconductor players. Avago Technologies also plans to buy Broadcom. The Motley Fool reports that Avago and Broadcom should have about $15 billion in annual sales – making it the third largest semiconductor company in terms of revenue, behind only Intel and Qualcomm.

That deal promises to save Avago and Broadcom $750 million in the first 18 months, according to Motley Fool, which says that while Avago has $2.6 billion cash on hand, Broadcom has $3 billion.

“The merger between radio specialist Avago and networking titan Broadcom creates a smaller version of Qualcomm, which already covers both of these markets,” according to The Motley Fool. “That's not a bad role model, given Qualcomm's track record of profitable growth, but I'm not sure Avago should be setting itself up for head-to-head comparisons with that particular juggernaut.”




Edited by Rory J. Thompson

Executive Editor, TMC

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Mist Applies AI to Improve Wi-Fi

By: Paula Bernier    11/9/2017

Mist has created an AI-driven wireless platform that puts the user and his or mobile device at the heart of the wireless network. Combining machine le…

Read More

International Tech Innovation Growing, Says Consumer Technology Association

By: Doug Mohney    11/8/2017

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) is best known for the world's largest trade event, but the organization's reach is growing far beyond the CE…

Read More

Broadcom Makes Unsolicited $130B Bid for Qualcomm

By: Paula Bernier    11/6/2017

In what could result in the biggest tech deal in history, semiconductor company Broadcom has made an offer to buy Qualcomm for a whopping $130 billion…

Read More

How Google's 'Moonshot' Could Benefit Industrial Markets

By: Kayla Matthews    10/30/2017

The term "moonshot" encapsulates the spirit of technological achievement: an accomplishment so ambitious, so improbable, that it's equivalent to sendi…

Read More

After Cisco/Broadsoft, Who's Next for M&A?

By: Doug Mohney    10/27/2017

Cisco's trail of acquisition tears over the decades includes the Flip video camera, Cerent, Scientific Atlantic, Linksys, and a couple of others. The …

Read More