One of the hottest topics in the semiconductor market these days is how the pace of consolidation among chip suppliers has picked up in recent months. As that happens, and as the number of remaining independent companies continues to fall, some of the companies that have been buyers up to this point could very well switch jerseys and become sellers -- whether by desire or by force from shareholders and larger companies whose offers are just too good to refuse.
M/A-COM Technology Solutions Inc. (MACOM), a supplier of semiconductors for networking, automotive, aerospace, defense and other markets, has asserted itself as a buyer over the last few years, acquiring companies such as Optomai, BinOptics, Photonic Controls, Nitronex and others. In doing so, the company has built itself a wide array of technologies and talent that make it a strong independent firm that can produce a chip for just about any customer and application. You can read more about it in this Prime Reading feature: MACOM Remains Laser-Focused on Semiconductors.
Will MACOM continue to be a buyer? When I talked to MACOM Director of Strategy Vivek Rajgarhia not long ago, he said the company doesn't have any immediate needs it must fulfill through acquisition. For example, its deals in the optical networking market have it well positioned not only for the existing long-haul 100G market and the rapidly emerging metro 100G space, but also the 400G evolution still to come.
Will MACOM become a seller? Though it would seem to go against the spirit that has driven the company in recent years, that collection of chip technologies it has amassed might appear pretty tantalizing to the tier of much larger semiconductor firms, such as Intel, Avago and NXP.
While those big guys have been pretty focused lately on automotive pursuits, MACOM's semiconductors in optical and data center connectivity in particular could give them a competitive leg up in other markets.
Chip sector consolidation is only going to continue. While MACOM has been a buyer thus far, will it continue down that path?
— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading