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Silicon Labs buys integrated timing solns provider

Posted: 31 Jan 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IC timing products  Silicon Lab acquisitions  Silicon Lab 4Q results 

Commenting on the results, Ian Ing, an analyst with Gleacher & Co., said: ''SLAB reported a $0.09 [Rs.4.13] EPS beat largely on tax reversal and revenue above the guided range, but offset by a weak gross margin as TV tuners ramp in initial volumes. Revenue guidance was above the Street, but leverage comes out of many models due to 1) gross margin guided to lower-end of the 62-65 per cent target range, and 2) operating expense climbing 6 per cent or $4 million [Rs.18.35 crore] q/q on SpectraLinear acquisition (silicon clocks) and FICA tax/merit raise impacts. Full-year segment guidance implies revenue growth in the high single-digits, as the video business grows to roughly $60 million [Rs.275.20 crore] from $20 million [Rs.91.73 crore] on ramps in TV tuner ICs.''

Silicon Labs has been on an acquisition spree. In April of 2010, the company announced the acquisition of Silicon Valley-based Silicon Clocks, an early stage company creating MEMS technology. Silicon Clocks' CMEMS (CMOS+MEMS) technology is aligned with Silicon Labs' efforts to leverage its CMOS-based timing products into high-volume applications such as CE.

In October, Silicon Labs announced the acquisition of Ireland-based ChipSensors Ltd, an early-stage technology company creating single-chip CMOS sensors designed to detect temperature, humidity and gases. ChipSensors' technology complements Silicon Labs' touch, proximity sensing and recently acquired MEMS technology, expanding the company's capabilities in CMOS-based sensors.

''Clocks are big business; in fact, timing grew by 70 per cent for us in 2010, and is now more than 10 per cent of our revenue,'' according to a spokeswoman for Silicon Labs. ''We acquired Silicon Clocks for their CMOS-based MEMS technology, which we're applying initially to timing. And then we announced the acquisition of SpectraLinear, a revenue generating private company that sells clocks into high-volume embedded and consumer applications. Both acquisitions target a part of the market we had previously not addressed, allowing us to really become a one stop timing supplier.''

Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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