SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Fabless ASIC house eSilicon Corp. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Silicon Design Solutions (SDS), a supplier of niche semiconductor memory intellectual property (IP) cores.
With acquisition of SDS (Mipitas, Calif.), eSilicon (Sunnyvale, Calif.) plans to expand its customer base and potential for design wins.
"The acquisition of SDS will provide new revenue opportunities for eSilicon, supporting our growth plans, while bringing expanded design and operations engineering support to our customers," said Jack Harding, chairman, president and CEO of eSilicon, in a statement.
"Over the past several years, we have established a loyal top-tier customer base by leveraging our talented engineering group and specialized memory IP not available from other suppliers," said Duytan Tran, SDS president and CEO.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, and eSilicon expects the transaction to close in May 2010.
Several years ago, the company also bought Sweden's SwitchCore AB, a provider of Ethernet switching chips.
Founded in 2000, eSilicon emerged and brought a new concept to the market: the fabless ASIC model. Prior to 2000, companies that didn't have their own fabs had two choices for the development of ASICs. Companies could work with a traditional ASIC supplier that owned a fab or they could develop a circuit by themselves.
Fabless ASIC houses offered a third alternative. They can help customers bring their ASICs to the market by providing a range of third-party services. Fabless ASIC houses also claim they can develop or manage an ASIC project at a less expensive rate than if customers did it themselves.
ESilicon now calls itself a ''value chain producer.'' A value chain producer (VCP) is a company that collaborates with foundries, IP and service providers, EDA suppliers, package, assembly and test operations in designing and producing chips for fabless IC, IDM and OEM companies.
A VCP earns revenue by shipping packaged, tested products with the customers' logo. The term was created by eSilicon and was adopted by the Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) as a new category in October 2009.