Inphi Corp., is buying most of eSilicon; while Synopsys will acquire the fabless vendor's embedded memory and interface intellectual property (IP) business. Inphi is to pay $216 million for eSilicon in both cash and assumption of debt, while the price that Synopsys paid for the memory assets was not disclosed.

eSilicon was established in 2000 and provides complex FinFET ASICs, market-specific IP platforms and advanced 2.5D packaging solutions. Targeting high-bandwidth networking, high-performance computing, artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G infrastructure markets, its IP includes configurable 7nm 56G/112G SerDes plus networking-optimized 16/14/7nm FinFET IP platforms featuring HBM2 PHY, ternary content-addressable memory (TCAM), specialized memory compilers and I/O libraries. Its neuASIC platform provides AI-specific IP and a modular design methodology to create ASICs.

Speaking of the acquisitions, Jack Harding, president and CEO of eSilicon, said, “Our engineering talent, IP and customer relationships in networking, data-center and cloud, telecom 5G infrastructure and AI will help enhance their respective offerings.”

The Inphi acquisition of eSilicon is expected to close this quarter subject to US and Vietnamese regulatory approval (eSilicon has been in Vietnam since 2010).  With the purchase, Inphi expects to extend its addressable market in cloud data center networking and telecom 5G infrastructure with top tier OEM customers, as well as expand its presence into new, strategic geographies for talent acquisition with engineering design centers in Italy, Romania, Vietnam, and Spain and operations in Malaysia. It will also add between $80 to $120 million to 2020 revenue.

The acquisition will combine Inphi’s DSP, transimpedance amplifiers (TiA), driver and silicon photonics (SiPho) disciplines with eSilicon’s 2.5D packaging and custom silicon design capabilities and accelerate the roadmap for electro-optics, 5nm advanced CMOS process node, and custom DSP solutions. It will also augment Inphi’s existing SerDes team and resources.

eSilicon HBI

eSilicon’s HBI+ delivers a die-to-die interconnect PHY intended for interconnecting multiple die mounted within a package,
typically enabling the use of chiplets (Source: eSilicon)

Ford Tamer, president and CEO of Inphi, said, “eSilicon adds to Inphi world-class 2.5D packaging, SerDes, custom silicon and operations teams. Just as we successfully leveraged our Cortina and Clariphy acquisitions, eSilicon will advance our shared commitments in driving successful customer engagement, industry-leading innovation, and best of class execution.”

InPhi acquired Cortina Systems, a developer of High-Speed Optical and Networking interconnects for $131 million in 2014, and ClariPhy Communications, a mixed signal DSP solutions provider for high-speed data interconnects, for $277 million in 2016.

Synopsys acquires memory IP assets
Meanwhile, Synopsys expects to use its acquisition of eSilicon’s memory IP assets to help expand its IP portfolio and add research and development resources for the growing AI and cloud markets. It will help expand Synopsys' DesignWare embedded memory IP portfolio with TCAMs and multi-port memory compilers, as well as its interface IP portfolio with high-bandwidth interface (HBI) IP. The acquisition will also add a team of experienced R&D engineers to further scale Synopsys' IP development in advanced process technologies to address customers' evolving design requirements in growing markets such as AI and cloud.

The transaction is expected to close during Synopsys' first quarter of fiscal 2020, and again is subject to Vietnamese regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.

"Today's complex SoCs require a broad range of IP to address stringent performance, power and area requirements of advanced applications such as AI and cloud computing," said Joachim Kunkel, general manager of the solutions group at Synopsys. "The acquisition of eSilicon's IP will expand our portfolio and enable us to meet our customers' need for high-quality IP across advanced FinFET process technologies from a single trusted supplier with common licensing terms and support infrastructure."