Microchip buys SerDes pioneer VSI

Microchip buys SerDes pioneer VSI

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By Nick Flaherty

Microchip Technology has bought VSI in South Korea for its Automotive SerDes Alliance (ASA) open standard technology for in-vehicle networking (IVN).

The deal adds the VSI ASA Motion Link (ASA-ML) SerDes technology to Microchip’s Ethernet and PCIe automotive networking portfolio to enable next-generation software-defined vehicles as BMW moves to the ASA technology. The terms of the transaction are not disclosed. 

Last month BMW announced they would shift to using standardized ASA-ML for upcoming start of productions for their vehicle architectures and now also their video architecture. This provides link layer security and scalability to support 2 Gbps to 16 Gbps line rates and is being updated to support Ethernet-based architectures.

ASA has over 145 members with 11 automotive manufacturers including BMW, GM, Ford, Stellantis and Hyundai-Kia Motors as well as Tier 1 suppliers, semiconductor and image sensor supplier to test and compliance houses.

The market size of automotive radar, camera and LiDAR modules is expected to grow by greater than two times between 2022 to 2028 to $27B in revenue, according to Yole Group. This is driven by ADAS, in-cabin monitoring, safety and convenience features (e.g., 360-degree surround view, e-mirrors) and multi-screen digital cockpits for next-generation software-defined vehicles (SDV).

These all need more highly asymmetric raw data and video links and higher bandwidths, making current, proprietary serializer/deserializer (SerDes) based solutions no longer adequate.

The Automotive SerDes Alliance (ASA) was formed in 2019 and released the first open-standard ASA Motion Link (ASA-ML) specifications to address this, and VSI has been a pioneer in developing connectivity devices for the standard.

“This acquisition brings VSI’s knowledgeable team, their market traction and ASA Motion Link technologies and products to Microchip’s expansive automotive networking portfolio to better serve the ADAS megatrend we are focused on,” said Mitch Obolsky, senior vice president of Microchip’s automotive products, networking, and data center business units.

“As the industry converges around three primary IVN pillars – Ethernet, PCIe and ASA Motion Link, camera and display connectivity is one of the fastest growing and largest IVN markets. With VSI, Microchip can now offer products that span all three pillars and also provide automotive security, microcontrollers, motor control, touch and power management solutions to our customers to enable their next-generation software-defined vehicle architectures.”

“Microchip Technology is an established and trusted market leader in automotive networking known for their automotive quality and robust supply chain, and our team is excited to join them to address the growing ADAS and digital cockpit connectivity market,” said Steve Kang, CEO of VSI.

“VSI is a leader in the development of ASA-ML products and was the first to introduce products to the market. Our standards-compliant chipsets are being evaluated by car manufacturers worldwide. We recently collaborated with BMW in a proof of concept to showcase ASA-ML and our product readiness. This acquisition brings together two organizations with a shared commitment to advancing technology through innovation. We look forward to successfully deploying our solutions in production vehicles for years to come.”


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