Ten deals that shaped analog, MEMS and sensors in 2019

December 24, 2019 //By Peter Clarke
Ten deals that shaped analog, MEMS and sensors in 2019
Deals were plentiful in 2019

Consolidation in the electronics and semiconductor sectors diminished in 2019, partly hindered by US-China trade tension and the weakness of the general economy. Nonetheless there were deals aplenty, many focused on startups. Here is a list of eleven deals, in roughly chronological order, that impacted the analog, MEMS and sensors sector in 2019.

1) UMC bows to US pressure over China DRAMs

This is a deal that didn't happen. Foundry United Microelectronics Corp. had found itself a nice gig helping Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co. develop DRAM technology but that had in turn attracted the attention of the US and a product ban in 2018. UMC therefore decided to move engineers off the project (see Report: UMC backs away from China DRAM venture).

2) Micron buys Intel out of memory JV

Back in January memory chip maker Micron Technology Inc. (Boise, Idaho) opted to buy out the interest of processor chip giant Intel Corp. in their joint venture IM Flash Technologies LLC (Lehi, Utah) at the earliest opportunity (see Micron triggers buy out of Intel JV).

The company had announced in October 2018 its intention to make the move some time after January 1, 2019 (see Micron to buy Intel out from manufacturing venture). The two companies had previously announced an end to their collaboration on phase-change memory, which the two companies have called 3D XPoint memory (see Intel, Micron end collaboration on 3D XPoint NVM).

3) Globalfoundries sells fab and MEMS business to Vanguard

In January 2019 Vanguard International Semiconductor Corp. (Hsinchu, Taiwan) said it had agreed to buy Fab 3E in Singapore from Globalfoundries Inc. (Santa Clara, Calif.) for US$236 million. The deal included buildings, facilities, and equipment and intellectual property associated with Globalfoundries' MEMS business, which saw some contracts transfer over (see GloFo sells MEMS business, fab to Taiwan's Vanguard).

4) Cypress forms South Korean memory JV

Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (San Jose, Calif.) announced that a joint venture with SK Hynix on the production of NAND flash memory had received regulatory antitrust approval and was expected to begin full operations on April 1, 2019 (see SkyHigh Memory flash joint venture to open in April). But that was not the end of matters for Cypress in 2019.

5) Renesas $6 billion deal to acquire IDT closes.

This deal also figured in last year's list but these deals do take time to conclude. In March the news came through the US approved the deal (see Renesas gets CFIUS approval for $6 billion IDT buy) and the deal eventually closed in May 2019.

Next: Acquire or be acquired


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