Analog/Mixed Signal

NXP to acquire Marvell’s Wi-Fi business

31 May 2019

The 2019 acquisition explosion continues, with NXP Semiconductors spending $1.76 billion to acquire Wi-Fi connectivity business from Marvell Semiconductor. The acquisition will include all of Marvell’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology portfolios and related assets, as well as the 550 people employed by the business.

The deal will allow NXP to offer a range of wireless connectivity options such as Wi-Fi 4, 5, 6 and Bluetooth and Bluetooth low energy (BLE) combination devices. These chips will be integrated with NXP’s computing platforms including iMX, Layerscape, Kinetis, LPC and RT crossover processors. The combined solutions will be used for the industrial and internet of things, automotive and communication infrastructure markets, NXP said.

The acquisition is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2020, pending customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. Marvell said the deal makes sense as it is transitioning to an infrastructure supplier for 5G, data centers, enterprise and automotive Ethernet applications.

A key to the acquisition trend happening in 2019 is the forecast that the semiconductor industry will decline in revenues this year by 7.2%. One of the biggest acquisitions so far this year was Nvidia’s purchase of intelligent interconnect device and service maker Mellanox for $6.9 billion. However, many other smaller acquisitions have been happening, including Xilinx's purchase of Solarflare, Intel's purchase of FPGA maker Omnitek, Dialog’s purchase of Silicon Motion Technology and Taoglas’ acquisition of Think Wireless, an antenna maker for wireless systems inside vehicles. Marvell has also gotten in on the act with its acquisition of Avera.

A similar trend is happening in the home automation market as well, where major acquisitions are happening as those in the smart home business are looking to develop all-in-one solutions rather than selling one device at a time. Most recently, Control4 was acquired by SnapAV in a $680 million deal that has capped off a series of purchases this year already in what many analysts are expecting to be a year-long trend.

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