As with many recent acquisitions in the semiconductor industry, Dialog stated that they acquired Silego in order to expand into the IoT.
Silego is an industry leader in configurable mixed-signal ICs (CMICs) which are well-suited for IoT designs because the same chip can be configured for different applications to support the ever-changing wireless protocols of IoT devices around the world. Dialog, meanwhile, is an industry leader in power management ICs for mobile devices and hopes that the addition of Silego's CMICs will help designers get their products to market faster.
"The acquisition of Silego brings a highly complementary technology to Dialog. What Silego has developed is truly unique - a mixed-signal platform which customers can configure to their design requirements on the fly, drastically reducing the time to bring their products to market" - Jalal Bagherli, CEO of Dialog
Dialog just added a lot of CMIC sales to their portfolio
What Does Dialog Gain?
Although Silego is a relatively small company with only about 230 employees, their designers have distinguished themselves as innovators in CMICs that integrate multiple analog, logic, and discrete component functionalities into chips. As far as I can tell from current reports, Dialog has no intention of making changes to Silego's team. Instead, they look to build upon Silego's success with CMICs and get Silego's customer base (an estimated $80 million in revenue for 2017) and integrate Dialog's power management ICs into the designs of people already familiar with Silego's CMICs.
One reason why Silego's CMICs are so popular is that they come with a software interface that's relatively easy to use, which allows designers to configure their functions and prototype custom ICs quickly. Dialog's goal with Silego is to help designers reduce board space, simplify their supply chains, and help them get their products to market faster.
An example of the GreenPAK interface from Silego
Both companies are fabless (meaning that they enlist the help of other companies in order to manufacture their components), so Dialog is mostly gaining intellectual property from Silego's designs, engineers to help integrate their product lines into each other, and Silego's customer base. However, by consolidating their new designs, both companies stand to cut some red tape when it comes to remote fabrication. Information as to which remote fabs each company uses is scarce, so whether or not Dialog stands to gain any relationships or discounts from Silego's relationships with remote fabs can only be speculated.
What Does Silego Gain?
Silego looks to further promote the adoption of CMICs and expand their own markets. Dialog is a much larger company with a larger customer base, so Silego will gain the benefits of having Dialog as a platform to expand instead of having to build up the infrastructure to support their growing markets by themselves. Additionally, future Silego products could benefit from Dialog's current focus on power efficiency which they tout on their website.
"Our proprietary and configurable approach has allowed Silego to establish leadership while creating a new market. By leveraging Dialog's technology and capabilities, I am confident we can further drive adoption of CMICs." - John Teegen, CEO of Silego
What Does This Mean For Engineers?
For starters, new components from Silego should become available more quickly after they're announced. There's also a good chance that Dialog and Silego will consolidate some of their software platforms and interfaces for programmable devices. Hopefully, this acquisition will make prototyping IoT faster and easier for designers.