Rumors Of Xilinx Sale Abound

The companies that design and build the chips we all use – Atmel, Texas Instruments, Microchip, NXP, Freescale, Intel, Altera, Avago, Broadcom, and On Semi are all buying each other, merging, and slowly becoming two or three gigantic semiconductor companies. The question on everyone’s mind is, ‘which company will be next?’ The answer might be Xilinx, inventors of the FPGA and designers of some really cool parts.

The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s reported a few regulatory filings from Xilinx last week. This could signal an acquisition or merger of the company When this could happen is anyone’s guess, but rumors are flooding the Internet over who would buy Xilinx.

Until recently, Xilinx’s largest competitor in the FPGA market was Altera. That is, until Intel came by with a check for $16.7 Billion. The revenue, size, and market cap of both Xilinx and Altera aren’t too different, leading the question of who would have the money to buy Xilinx and isn’t Intel. Aren’t rumors fun?

Xilinx’s portfolio include high performance, mid-range and low-cost FPGAs as well as interesting hybrid devices. One such hybrid is Zynq, an FPGA and fast ARM Cortex A9 processor in the same package. All these chips will be made for years to come in one form or another. The only question is if Xilinx will make these chips, or will the company continue on under some new branding.

28 thoughts on “Rumors Of Xilinx Sale Abound

    1. Probably not. But I really hope you are wrong.
      Just imagine the Next generation Zynq but instead of 2x ARM 900 MHz there would be with top of the line R series core(4×2.1GHz x86 and 8core GPU). This would be a thing of beauty and probably using under 50W of power. Every robot or autonomus vehicale would have on of this in their brain.
      But put 20of this on a single board in a 19″ rack case and you have got yourself a personal supercomputer.

      1. Intel is already throwing Altera FPGAs into Xeons this year and there is no reason to think they wouldn’t do it on something like the Xeon Phi or smaller Airmont cores as well. Sadly even if AMD bought Xilinx and threw the entire company at it they’d still be a day late and a dollar short on the concept.

      1. Well, it took about 70 or 80 years for the US aerospace industry to become three or four major players, with a few dozen other large-ish, Textron-sized manufacturers . If you peg the beginnings of the semiconductor industry to about 1970, we have about 20 or 30 years to go.

        1. Thats assuming the industry grows at the same pace as the aerospace industry. With how quickly industries grow these days, I would not be surprised at all if the semiconductor industry settled even quicker than that

  1. The bigger these companies become, the less likely they are to fail and leave us without the parts we want.

    Unfortunately also, the bigger these companies become, the more likely they will only care about investors and stockholders, who don’t give a flying crap about the parts we want, just the ones that the companies want that they also own.

    1. I’m sorry, But I’m at a loss at exactly how companies like Xilinx or even Freescale, NXP, Intel or Altera can fail. This isn’t about failing, this is about making even more money by leveraging economies of scale to ridiculously obscene levels to keep increasing profit at ridiculous levels while improving “synergy” and “restructuring” a.k.a they’re about to layoff half of their staff and not just any staff but the Engineers and other qualified and talented personnel and replace them with offshore employees who get paid significantly less.

      We need to bring back anti-trust laws.

      This kind of news is a harbinger of the death of the electronics hobby…and perhaps more importantly the complete annihilation of the middle class.

    1. Won’t matter if we do. Same investors would own X companies instead of just one. They would just wait out the market and merge them all back together again. The entire time laughing to the banks, which they also own.

    2. As long as there is Xilinx Altera there is no monopoly. Although there are other players on the FPGA scene, they are small, and would provide little influence. If say Intel bought Xilinx as well, there WOULD be an effective monopoly that would be harmful for the market.

      1. I typed “Xilinx vs Altera” with angled brackets and a minus sign in the place where i now typed “vs”. Apparently someone at hackaday is unfamiliar with htmlencode or whatever it’s called.

          1. Not much different that what I’m trying to point out but that’s not really the meaning behind Ogliopoly. Probably more accurate to say Ogliopolies turn into Cartels. (Or the parties got there through Cartel methods, I can see that happpening.)

    1. Google could be an interesting prospect. They don’t have any fabs, but they have the capability of building some. Oracle, MS, or Apple would be a travesty, I think. MS has changed since their days of trying to help Sun in the claim that Sun owns Linux, but I’m not sure that having them in the hardware game would be a good thing for anyone. I’m not sure of Oracle’s involvement in hardware, and Apple just designs the pretty boxes and the OS and licenses their hardware . . . so far.

      As mentioned above, AMD would be interesting; so would GlobalFounderies, the former AMD fab. Then there is every company on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_semiconductor_fabrication_plants . That list is a great place for the rumor mill to start from.

  2. The banks are fat with free freshly printed Dollars (which the Taxpayer must ultimately pay for), plus interest rates are artificially low due to Socialist Government control of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank (the Fed). This makes a ripe time to fund buy-outs and mergers, before Big Government starts manipulating the Fed again and increasing interest rates. The only risk is global collapse brought on by huge debt bubbles in the U.S., Japan, China etc. precipitated by the Fed increasing interest rates. But that will affect everyone across the board – thereby levelling the playing field – if it happens…

    1. Ideally ‘Socialist Government control’ would at the very least by definition attempt to level the playing field between the rich and the poor. This ‘Government control’ is not socialist in nature…. as it encourages theft from the poor to benefit the rich & the corporations. It is at the very least borderline Fascistic.

      “The definition of fascism is The marriage of corporation and state ”
      ― Benito Mussolini

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