From domestic lighting control to wireless charging, CEO Jalal Bagherli sees nothing but opportunity for Dialog Semiconductor, one of Europe's leading fabless chip companies.
LONDON — Jalal Bagherli has been CEO of Dialog Semiconductor plc since September 2005. Over that time, the company has ridden the mobile consumer equipment wave to success, particularly with power management ICs.
Dialog, a fabless vendor of mixed-signal, power, audio, and RF chips, primarily addresses the fast-paced mobile device market, though it makes some sales for industrial and automotive applications. Bagherli told us in an exclusive interview that he wants to follow up the company's July acquisition of the smart power IC startup iWatt Inc. to take Dialog into adjacent high-growth consumer markets.
Jalal Bagherli, CEO of Dialog Semiconductor.
"We are trying to create a company based in Europe, based on European skills, but with global ambitions," Bagherli said. The company is headquartered near Stuttgart in Germany, but it has design centers in Munich, Swindon, Edinburgh, Istanbul, Italy, Greece, Holland, Tokyo, Beijing, and (through the iWatt acquisition) Campbell, Calif.
When Bagherli arrived, Dialog was dipping in and out of profit with quarterly sales of about $40 million. For the third quarter of 2013, the company expects to post sales revenue of $208 million to $230 million -- an increase of about 20 percent from a year earlier. Consistent profits under Bagherli helped provide the funds for the $310 million acquisition of iWatt. He said the startup is expected to provide about $20 million of third-quarter revenue and is on a strong growth track with good margins.
The thing they brought to Dialog was AC/DC conversion for mobile device chargers. Our experience was in DC/DC conversion within the mobile equipment, so they are complementary. iWatt was one of the first companies to apply digital control to power conversion, which can reduce the components needed, and they have a large number of patents. The second thing is LED driver ICs for the retrofit light bulb market. It is a very hot market and not one that we were in.
He also said the technology synergies open up possibilities to build off iWatt's positions in power supplies and lighting.