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Jump in acquisitions among chip companies

New figures have shown that semiconductor merger and acquisition activity strengthened markedly in 2019.

According to data from IC Insights, more than 30 semiconductor acquisition agreements with a combined value of $32 billion were made last year, up 22% on 2018.

That represents the third-highest annual total ever and was driven by an uptick in consolidation as larger suppliers struck deals to add new products and technologies to drive growth, such as machine-learning and artificial intelligence, computer vision and high-speed wireless connection.

The figures show that the number of deals worth over $1bn also jumped and include: Infineon’s planned purchase of Cypress Semiconductor for $9.4 billion, Nvidia’s $6.9 billion deal for Mellanox, and Intel’s $2.0 billion purchase of the AI-chip developer Habana Labs .

While this certainly represents strong growth the figure remains well down on the +$100bn that was spent in 2015 and 2016 and hardly constitutes a ‘boom’.

What we are seeing, however, is a return to more ‘normal’ levels of growth.

Neil Tyler

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