Comms chips

Lattice Purchased by Somebody for $1.3B

A little known capital company has scooped up field programmable gate array (FPGA) vendor Lattice Semiconductor for $1.3 billion.

Canyon Bridge Capital Partners will acquire all outstanding shares of Lattice Semiconductor Corp. (Nasdaq: LSCC) for approximately $8.30 per share in cash, a 30% premium to Lattice's last trade price on November 2.

In a statement, Lattice President and Chief Executive Darin G. Billerbeck said Lattice will operate as a standalone subsidiary, and that the company does not expect any changes in its operations.

Senior management will stay on board, and the company will continue to have its headquarters in Portland, Ore.

FPGAs are inherently useful in any application where updates following deployment are possible, but recently, high-end FPGAs have gained fame as accelerators in high-speed computing environments -- notably in data centers. Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) bought Altera to control its supply of FPGAs. Xilinx Inc. (Nasdaq: XLNX) is thriving as a competitor to Altera.

Lattice is the third of the big FPGA vendors, but the company has deliberately not gone head to head with Altera and Xilinx in high-performance applications. Rather, it has found success in lower-end applications that don't require FPGAs made with leading-edge manufacturing technologies, such as cameras, laptops and wearables.

Want to know more about communications ICs? Check out our comms chips channel
here on Light Reading.

Canyon Bridge is about as much of a cipher as a company can be. It has done literally nothing that has gained mention prior to its acquisition of Lattice. Its site offers little beyond the names of its managing partners and a note that it is backed by Chinese money.

The partners are reasonably well known. Benjamin Chow has worked at Applied Materials Inc. (Nasdaq: AMAT) and Boeing Phantom Works, and then with several capital firms including China Reform Fund Management, SIG China and Warburg Pincus Asia.

David Wang was a long-time executive at Applied Materials, and was president of Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC), an IC company in China.

The third co-founder, Ray Bingham, was once CEO of Cadence Design Systems. He is currently the chairman of Cypress Semiconductor, and serves on the boards of Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL), Flextronics and TriNet. Until recently he was an advisor to Riverwood Capital Management.

In a statement, Bingham said Lattice's low-power FPGA, video connectivity and wireless products made it "a compelling, strategic investment."

The deal is expected to close in early 2017.

— Brian Santo, Senior Editor, Components, T&M, Light Reading

Be the first to post a comment regarding this story.
Sign In