I just heard that Silicon Labs – a leader in high-performance, analog-intensive, mixed-signal ICs – has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Energy Micro. Based in Oslo, Norway, Energy Micro offers a power-efficient portfolio of 32-bit microcontrollers (MCUs) and is developing multi-protocol wireless RF solutions based on the industry-leading ARM Cortex-M architecture. Energy Micro’s energy-friendly MCU and radio solutions are designed to enable a broad range of power-sensitive applications for the Internet of Things (IoT), smart energy, home automation, security and portable electronics markets.
This strategic acquisition accelerates Silicon Labs’ growth opportunities and positions the company as the foremost innovator in energy-friendly embedded solutions. The growth of the IoT market, coupled with continued deployment of smart grid and smart energy infrastructure, is driving strong demand for energy-efficient processing and wireless connectivity technology to enable connected devices in which low-power capabilities are increasingly important. Industry experts predict that the number of connected devices for the IoT will top 15 billion nodes by 2015 and reach 50 billion nodes by 2020.
Energy Micro’s portfolio complements Silicon Labs’ 32-bit Precision32 MCU, Ember ZigBee, and sub-GHz wireless products and targets a growing embedded market. The acquisition greatly expands Silicon Labs’ MCU portfolio, adding nearly 250 ARM-based EFM32 Gecko MCU products ranging from extreme-low-power, small-footprint MCUs based on the ARM Cortex-M0+ core to higher-performance, energy-friendly MCUs powered by the Cortex-M4 core capable of DSP and floating-point operations. The acquisition is expected to enhance Silicon Labs’ radio portfolio with the addition of Energy Micro’s ultra-low-power EFR Draco radio products. These versatile wireless transceivers and system-on-chip (SoC) devices will support frequency bands ranging from sub-GHz to 2.4 GHz and multiple standard and proprietary protocols including Bluetooth Low Energy (LE), 6LoWPAN, ZigBee, RF4CE, 802.15.4(g), KNX, ANT+ and additional protocols.
Group at signing (left to right): Torleif Ahlsand, Chairman, Energy Micro, Northzone VC; Tyson Tuttle, CEO, Silicon Labs; Geir Førre, CEO, Energy Micro; Steinar Fossen, Board of Directors, Investinor VC
“Silicon Labs and Energy Micro share a complementary vision of a greener, smarter, wirelessly connected world, and the foundation for this combined vision is ultra-low-power technology enabled by each company’s innovative mixed-signal design,” said Tyson Tuttle, president and CEO of Silicon Labs. “This acquisition combines two proven leaders in nano-power MCU and wireless SoC design into a formidable force that will accelerate the deployment of energy-friendly solutions across the Internet of Things and smart energy industries.”
The company expects the addition of Energy Micro’s EFM32 Gecko MCUs and EFR Draco Radios, ultra-low-power technology expertise, energy-aware Simplicity development tools, and world-class design and applications teams will drive the rapid expansion of its Broad-based business. Silicon Labs intends to apply these complementary embedded technology platforms and expertise to enable the industry’s most energy-efficient solutions for the burgeoning IoT and smart energy markets, as well as the proliferation of battery-powered portable electronics devices. In addition, both companies’ 32-bit MCU and wireless products leverage the same ARM Cortex-M architecture, which is expected to accelerate the combined roadmap and support rapid adoption among the existing customer base.
“The Energy Micro team is excited to join Silicon Labs,” said Geir Førre, president and CEO of Energy Micro, who after the closing, is expected to become vice president and general manager of Silicon Lab’s Energy-Friendly Microcontroller and Radio business unit, based in Oslo. “Silicon Labs’ excellent resources and technology will help the combined company develop new products and gain market share more quickly. The combination of our broad portfolios of energy-friendly MCU, radio, wireless connectivity and sensing solutions will redefine ‘ultra-low power’ for the embedded industry. Our unified solutions will give customers a large choice of 32-bit microcontroller and sub-GHz, ZigBee and Bluetooth LE connectivity options based on the most energy-efficient ARM platforms in the industry,” he said.Terms and Guidance
Under the agreement, the shareholders of Energy Micro will receive an up-front payment of $115 million in cash, plus approximately $55 million in deferred and earn-out consideration. The acquisition is being funded from balance sheet cash resources and will require no borrowing. Energy Micro is expected to contribute approximately $7 million in revenue in the second half of 2013. Anticipated growth is expected to allow the transaction to be accretive on a non-GAAP basis by the end of 2014. The boards of each company have approved the acquisition, which awaits the satisfaction of customary closing conditions. The deal is expected to close in July 2013. Additional financial details and guidance will be provided in the Silicon Labs’ second quarter earnings call planned for July 25, 2013.
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