Intersil will be successful if they offer value and differentiation in products to their customers or if they represent a complimentary product line to the big 5 that makes them an acquisition target. It is not clear to me at first reading, what overall direction they will pursue. The multiple acquisitions do enable growth, if the added products fit into their overall portfolio with minimal overlap. I am a big fan of choice and diversity in the analog market and believe that growth in the analog market could support another major contender.
Analog is a very interesting field that surely can have strong growth. When digital goes fast, nearly all the design concern goes to analog. People needs better power supply, better amplifiers, better ADC and DAC. Intersil may be right to develop more non-power but analog-rich product to secure its position and make itself in good shape. I believe giants like TI understand this as this company is also expanding its HPA (high performance analog) a lot in the past few years.
If the intent is to challenge the analog biggies, then that is the wrong decision. If the intent is to offer analog solutions of value to a wide range of customers, then the results will depend on how well those customer needs are met. I would rank them as a contender. Growing by acquisitions can be a path so long as the strengths of the acquisitions are allowed to continue rather than being molded into the acquiring company image. Of course, it is still possible to make the wrong acquisition... :) The jury is still out, but the coming year should offer a clearer picture.
Althought Intersil can be considered as contender, it is not an easy taks for this this company to challenge Analog biggies like TI and Nation Semi. Though Intersil is using the stratergy of acquiring the "statup companies" it needs to be seen how effective this decision will be.
Interesting historical perspective. Also, wanted to clarify that the revenue data reported here is for general purpose analog only. If you add in revenue for analog used in mass storage, audio, and other specific applications, Intersil's Analog revenue was more like $551M in 2009 - Susie Inouye, Databeans
I will say a contender. When people think that analog is dead, they fail to realize that the world is analog in nature and this digital abstraction we use is a mistake. In the future, we will compute with spikes and even digital is not safe. Analog will always be here, but I cannot say the same of digital. Your brain works on spikes and not digital. Nothing is digital in life. So I am bullish with them on analog