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Synergy is the name of the game: NXP-Freescale behemoth

Posted: 19 Mar 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Freescale  NXP Semiconductors  merger  IHS  microprocessor 

Freescale has been a key strategic provider of high-reliability automotive, telecomm infrastructure and industrial solutions, including both application-specific and general-purpose products that go after high-performance applications. NXP's broad portfolio, by comparison, has strategically targeted precision analogue and low-power portable-device applications, most of which are directed at portable wireless, automotive infotainment, consumer components and a complementary base of industrial components, including secure MCUs for smart cards. Even in the auto industry, where the two companies both focus on infotainment, their technologies harmonise: NXP dominates the radio market, while Freescale fills a large demand for low- to midrange centre-stack processors and instrument cluster controllers.

"The most significant processor competition will likely occur in low-power connectivity solutions, where both chipmakers offer competitive connectivity MCUs," said Hackenberg. "In particular, the newly merged company will be well-positioned to make ground-breaking advances in the human-machine interface market."

Freescale recently began developing its portfolio of vision-related intellectual property with Canadian maker CogniVue, used in advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). For its part, NXP has solid voice-processing expertise. Both companies overall have strong sensor fusion intellectual property, with each maker tending toward different applications. "The resulting combination could offer strategic symmetry in combined vision-, voice- and motion-controlled systems," Hackenberg added.

Another important aspect of the merger is that Freescale is a near-exclusive source for power architecture processors and processor intellectual property. Although its market share overall is small compared to x86 and ARM, Freescale plays a significant role in the military aerospace industry, where many high-reliability equipment controls rely on power architecture. "While the acquisition of Freescale by a foreign owner is unlikely to be a deal breaker, the development could have some bearing on the approval process in the military, as it will now involve a non-U.S. company possessing ownership of its primary source of military aerospace specific Power Architecture," Hackenberg noted.

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