Microsemi's long term and continuing mistreatment of MIL/Aero customers is legendary. Microsemi's capabilities lie largely in producing datasheets, but not parts. Not on time.
Heaven help current Actel users. Stand by to be stabbed in your nich.
I also like the idea to put programmable logic together with mixed signal product, provided it won't add noise to the high performance analog stuff. Anyway, this is a good direction to go and I hope to see more in the future.
I love the idea of the combined analog and digital programmable devices! I can see a number of uses for this hybrid design capacity. In looking at the older traditional approach, mix of analog and digital chips, there was the cost/size/complexity issues that slowed time to market. With a combined single chip solution that can be reprogrammed on the fly, the designer now can quickly code, test, and implement with the basic evaluation boards offered and speed to a final solution. I look forward to the future offerings and increased capacities of these devices.
It will be interesting to see how those suits shake out, and it's probably hard to prove malfeasance in this case. It's been a rough decade for ACTL shareholders, but then again the company's stock performance has been in the middle of the pack vis a vis other public programmable logic companies during that time.
Great article Brian, and I completely agree this is an example of great synergy between two well-aligned semi companies. There's going to be a lot of activity in this space over the next couple of years so you are going to have your hands full covering them! My only counterpoint: Mil-aero and rad-hard are going to be a bigger market than industry watchers are currently anticipating. Smart systems such as drones and hardened systems for gas line monitoring and control, etc., are going to require just this kind of electronic content. Should be interesting!
There's a lot here to digest. But on the whole it makes sense. The only disagreement I might have is that mil/aero and rad-hard are NOT "sexy". Designing for military and the medical applications is challenging: the systems need to last and be secure. What's more, reliability and security is starting to be taken seriously in other apps as well. On the whole, I think Actel was smart selling and letting the other two main FPGA behemoths duke it out for the rest of the market pie. The only question is did Microsemi give Actel's shareholders the highest value. Already two class action suits are claiming Actel was not shopped around enough for Actel shareholders to get their money's worth.