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Ceva in $33m move to full custom chip design

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The combination of Intrinsix’s broad chip design capabilities and IP together with Ceva’s wireless connectivity and smart sensing IP enables a full turnkey IP platform that lowers entry barriers for OEMs, IT companies and Tier 1s.

The move is aimed at those companies developing their own advanced chips in market verticals such as 5G infrastructure, automotive, aerospace & defence, medical, robotics and Industrial IoT (IIOT).

Intrinsix has been providing complex System-on-Chip (SoC) design expertise in the areas of RF, mixed signal, digital, software, secure processors and interface IP for Heterogenous SoCs (HSoCs), or chiplets, for 35 years. The company has over 1,500 successful designs with a customer base that includes blue chip names such as Intel, IBM, Leidos and Lockheed Martin.

Intrinsix is also involved in the development of chiplets and secure processors for DARPA projects.

“The acquisition of Intrinsix will provide us with new growth vectors and a larger market reach,” said Gideon Wertheizer, CEO of Ceva. “We will be able to offer our key customers a comprehensive portfolio of turnkey IP solutions that will capitalize on our off-the-shelf IP and Intrinsix’s reputable design capabilities in RF, mixed-signal, security and more. Furthermore, Intrinsix’s experience and customer base in the growing chip development programs with the U.S. Department of Defense and DARPA and its IP offerings for processor security and chiplets will extend CEVA’s serviceable market and revenue base. We are delighted to welcome the Intrinsix team to CEVA and look forward to the opportunities ahead.”

“This is an exciting time for the semiconductor industry, with many system companies intending to develop chips and to use IP to build a sustainable, competitive edge and to achieve differentiation,” said Jim Gobes, CEO of Intrinsix. “We are thrilled to be joining our development solutions with the wireless connectivity and smart sensing technologies of CEVA, a company at the forefront of the IP space. This combination creates a powerful entity with a strong IP portfolio and advanced chip design capabilities to address and accelerate the strategic need of system companies for custom semiconductors.”

The deal comes as Ceva reported revenue for the first quarter of 2021 of $25.4m, up 8 percent on the first quarter of 2020. First quarter 2021 licensing and related revenue was $14.4m, down 1 percent but royalty revenue was up 21 percent at $11.0m. The company signed eleven license agreements, two with first time customers. Target applications include 5G reduced capability (RedCap) connectivity, and Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and ultra-wide band (UWB) connectivity for a range of IoT, smartphones and smart home devices. Geographically, ten of the deals signed were in China, and one was elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region.

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