"This acquisition is about strength and growth," Rich Templeton, TI's
chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement. Templeton said TI believes it
can accelerate growth of National's products with its considerably larger sales
The deal, which remains subject to regulatory review and the approval of
National's shareholders, would bring together two of the longest-running
semiconductor companies and two of the largest vendors of analog chips. TI,
founded in 1947, is the No. 1 vendor of analog chips. National, founded in
1959, accounted for about 3 percent of the $42 billion overall analog IC market
Steve Ohr, an analog semiconductor analyst at Gartner, said there is a good
deal of overlap in the product offerings of TI and National. Ohr said the
acquisition would provide TI with a way to grow rapidly, but that it wouldn't
necessarily give TI product lines that it couldn't have developed internally.
Ohr said TI and National would complement each other in some ways and that,
culturally, the companies are very similar. "These companies were very
similar in their talents and strengths."
"There are a lot of overlapping products, but I don't think that's an
issue at all. I think the real thing here is they are acquiring customers and
diversifying their customer base," said Susie Inouye, an analyst with
market research firm Databeans. Inouye said the acquisition would bring TI into
a lot of new customers in the industrial marketplace.
"TI is not on an acquisition spree, but they are shopping for capacity and
technology," Inouye said. "I think the main drivers for this
acquisition are the customer base and (National's) sales force."
According to Databeans, National was the fifth ranked vendor in 2009, but
slipped to No. 7 as some of its competitors grew faster than National in the
rebound year of 2010.
Greg Lowe, senior vice president of TI's analog business unit, said TI had done
intensive analysis on National's product line and concluded that the two
companies' product lines are generally complementary. In some areas where the
two may appear on the surface to compete head-to-head, Lowe said, "if you
peel back the onion" it becomes clear that the products are used in
Lowe gave as an example switch mode power supplies. TI offers its Swift
switchers with integrated FETs, which are mostly used in low-voltage
applications, while National offers its Simple Switchers, mostly used in
"We've analyzed this across a number of product areas, and when you peel
the onion one single layer, the portfolios are complementary," Lowe said.
"Our two companies complement each other very well," said Don
Macleod, National's CEO. "TI has much greater scale in the
marketplace, with its larger portfolio of products and its large global sales
force. This provides a platform to enhance National's strong and highly
profitable analog capability, power management in particular, leading to
According to Ohr, TI was looking into acquiring several companies in the $100
million to $300 million annual revenue range during the tail end of the most
TI ranked No. 4 in the world in overall semiconductor sales in 2010 with
revenue of $11.9 billion. The addition of National's revenue would have made TI
the No. 3 chip vendor in 2010, ahead of Toshiba and trailing only Intel Corp.
and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., according to Gartner. National had revenue of
$1.42 billion in its fiscal 2010.
According to market research firm IHS iSuppli, the acquisition would
particularly bolster TI's lead in the market for voltage regulators. TI was the
leading voltage regulator supplier in 2010, with $1.7 billion in revenue and
market share of 18.1 percent, while National was the third largest supplier
with market share of 15.2 percent, according to IHS. The combination would have
given TI $.24 billion in regulator revenue for 2010, good for 26.5 percent of
the market, IHS said.
The global voltage regulator market expanded by 36.3 percent to reach $9.1
billion in 2010, better than overall IC growth of 32 percent, according to IHS.
In the past nine years,, the global semiconductor market has expanded by 93.1
percent while the voltage regulator segment has expanded by 169.4 percent, IHS
According to IHS, the combined TI and National would have had analog IC revenue
of $1.3 billion and 24.6 percent share of the analog market in 2010.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.