LONDON – Altera Corp. has agreed to acquire Enpirion Inc., a vendor of integrated power conversion products known as PowerSoCs (power system-on-chip), for an undisclosed sum.
Fabless analog semiconductor company Enpirion (Hampton, New Jersey) was founded in 2001 by a team of leading technology experts from Bell Laboratories, who specialize in power management architecture, power semiconductor devices, and high frequency magnetic materials. Enpirion’s PowerSoCs have been in high-volume production since 2005.
The combination of FPGAs with Enpirion's PowerSocs will offer customers higher performance, lower system power, higher reliability, smaller footprint and faster time-to-market, Altera said.
Enpirion's portfolio of DC-DC converters with integrated inductors offers small footprints and high efficiency. Unlike converters made from discrete components Enpirion dc-dc converters are simulated, characterized, validated and production qualified at delivery.
"By adding a power group to Altera, we will bring even more value to system-level designs. Altera’s FPGA roadmap will be enhanced significantly with the addition of Enpirion’s power technologies," said John Daane, president, CEO and chairman of Altera, in a statement.
Ashraf Lotfi, founder and CEO of Enpirion, will serve as an Altera Fellow and chief technologist for Altera's newly-formed power business unit. The company did not indicate whether it would try to integrate FPGA and power conversion technologies monolithically or offer multi-die components.
I suspect this will give Altera an important edge, especially when they master to build it in: a Power System on a Chip Inside a Chip...
I don't believe Altera should aim to be a significant player in power though and should maintain a certain level of independency for Enpirion. Not only to be able to power competitors FPGA's but also through the channel partners. An independant channel will show more focus and not stop at the FPGA.
Yes, I work for such a channel and I was already designing in Enpirion before they could mass produce their first product.
One of the most important and relatively less researched or developed topics is the on-chip, in-package, etc., supply. I thought at the time (2004-6, while at Spansion) that Enpirion had a very good approach to a significantly more efficient supply. The fact that their technology will be on FPGAs will probably boost the use of the FPGA as part of the final product.
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