To this end, Dialog Semiconductor is investing $45 million in Silicon Motion's mobile communications products, known under the "FCI" brand. "The acquisition adds ultra-low-power WiFi SoCs and complete modules for use in battery-powered IoT devices to our own portfolio," said Jalal Bagherli, CEO of Dialog Semiconductor. "We will combine them with our WiFi and low-energy Bluetooth SoCs. They are suitable for use in IoT and consumer devices as well as in motor vehicles." According to CEO Wallace Kou, Silicon Motion wants to concentrate on the skin products, controllers for memory cards.
Silicon Motion's FCI products include mobile TV SoCs (T-DBM ISDB-T) and RF tuners for use in smartphones, tablets and portable navigation devices for cars. In 2018, Silicon Motion delivered a total of 65 million SoCs, which can be found in many smartphones. In 2018, Silicon Motion's Mobile Devices unit achieved sales of around 30 million dollars. Mobile TV SoCs made the largest contribution.
In the fourth quarter of 2028, FCI started production of the first FC9000 ultra-low-power WiFi SoCs and corresponding fully WiFi-certified modules including antennas. With its FCI products, Silicon Motion is targeting the market for battery-powered IoT devices to enable direct connection to access points at a high security level. The range also includes complete software stacks, reference designs and evaluation platforms. Various leading manufacturers have already integrated the new ultra-low-power WiFi SoCs and modules into their devices - according to Dialog a good basis for future sales growth.
According to Bagherli, the ultra-low-power WiFi chips from Silicon Motion complement Dialog's strong position because the way is now open for further integration and optimized combinations. The acquisition also gives Dialog access to new technologies and design know-how in the field of RF communication for 4G and 5G, NB-IoT (Narrowband IoT) and power amplifiers. New products could now be developed together.
Dialog Semiconductor develops configurable mixed-signal ICs based on its low-power technologies and sees itself as a global leader in the field of Bluetooth low-energy SoCs. The company has already delivered more than 250 million Bluetooth low-energy SoCs.
Only recently, Dialog had introduced new Bluetooth low-energy SoCs with the SmartBond DA149x family, which contain an application processor based on the ARM Cortex-M33. The processor's performance allows developers to use it for demanding tasks in fitness trackers, the smart home environment and to control virtual reality games. The radio unit based on the ARM Cortex M0+ offers twice the range of the previous generation. A sensor node controller based on the programmable micro-DSP can process the sensor data largely independently and relieve the application processor. Silicon Motion, founded in 1995, is a manufacturer of NAND flash controllers for SSDs. Over the past ten years, the company has shipped over 6 billion NAND controllers, more than any other manufacturer in the world.