Mergers And Acquisitions: Apple Buys Most of Dialog

Apple is buying a $600 million stake in Dialog Semiconductor in a deal Dialog is describing as an asset transfer and licensing deal.

Dialog’s current portfolio is focused mainly on mobile devices, with Bluetooth wearables-on-a-chipCODEC chips for smartphones, and power management ICs for every type of portable electronics. Power managment ICs are by far the most visible component, although they do have the very interesting GreenPAK, a sort of mixed-signal FPGA-ish thing that is one of the more interesting chips to be come online in the last few years. Apple of course are a trillion dollar company that once made computers, but now receives most of its revenue through phone dongles and lightning connector converters. It is not clear at the time of this writing whether a Dialog engineer with experience in heat management will be joining Apple.

In the last week, Apple have taken some bad press about the state of their supply chain. Bloomberg reported Apple found hidden chips in Supermicro motherboards. ostensibly implanted by Chinese intelligence agencies. This story is reportedly multiply sourced, but there’s no evidence or explanation of how this supply chain hack was done. In short, infiltration of a supply chain by foreign agents could happen (and I suspect Bloomberg engineers found something in some of their hardware), but the Bloomberg piece is merely just a wake-up call telling us yes, you are vulnerable to a hardware attack.

This is further evidence of Apple’s commitment to vertical integration. Apple are making their own chips, and the A12 Bionic in the new iPhone X is an Apple-designed CPU, GPU, and ‘neural engine’ that turns your Facetime sessions into animated emojis. This chip is merely the latest in a series of SoCs developed by Apple, and adds to Apple’s portfolio of chips designed to run the Apple Watch, Apple AirPods, and system management controllers in Apple products. There’s no other electronics manufacturer that is as dedicated to vertical integration as Apple (although we’re pouring one out for Commodore), and the acquisition of Dialog will surely add to Apple’s capabilities.

16 thoughts on “Mergers And Acquisitions: Apple Buys Most of Dialog

  1. “a Trillion dollar company that once made computers”
    I’m pretty sure they still make computers. Enough to show as the 4th largest manufacturer of personal computers in the world (market share around 7%). Yes, they make a lot more money from smart phones, but it’s fairly easy to point out that they are just smaller, more portable personal computers these days.

  2. I feel that politics and business news derailed Slashdot, back when. The knowledgeable people left and the trolls took over the comment section.

    It would be nice if HaD did not suffer the same fate, which seems to mean steering clear of big business news because politics follows close behind.

    My two cents. Take it as you will.

    1. The change in management did most of the damage. Far as politics? Long as we can keep the government out of our hobbies, then yes. Long as we can keep big business from ruining our hobbies, then yes.

      1. Depending on your hobby, it might depend on big business. And when a business gets big enough, it creeps into politics, and politics creeps into it. That’s the way the world runs right at this moment. Unfairly.

  3. It’s a shame so much of apple’s hardware is so locked down. That bionic chip of theirs would be amazing as an SBC. It was kind of them to use the standard display port for a lot of their screens. I’m surprised I haven’t seen a raspberry pi tablet using one.

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