Microchip and ON Semiconductor launched a $2.3 billion offer to buy Atmel for $5 dollars a share. The two Arizona-based companies would break up Atmel, selling its nonvolatile memory and RF and automotive business to ON Semi and possibly disposing of Atmel's ASIC business if the proposed acquisition goes through. Shares of Microchip fell nearly 5%, while On Semiconductor shares were down 14.7% on the news.
The current global financial situation appears to be having an impact on the microwave job market as Sony Ericsson announced the cutting of 2,000 jobs. Meanwhile, IC Insights released its 2008 forecast update, stating that the global IC market growth will likely be between 1 and 5% this year as unit volumes rise but average selling prices fall.
Freescale has decided to opt out of the mobile IC business. Instead, the company intends to increase its investments in the automotive, broadcast, radar, medical and networking markets, as well as in the industrial and consumer markets.
Market research group Strategy Analytics predicts the global market for RF components for cellular basestations will remain flat at $1.1 billion through 2013. Strategy Analytics makes this prediction despite the fact that forecasts for actual shipments of basestations are expected to grow to 13.4 million units in 2013, a CAAGR (compound annual average growth rate) of nearly 70 percent. The flat revenue reflects a decrease in component price.
The report also suggest the migration to 3G+ and fourth generation networks will also drive a move toward smaller form factors as operators look to reuse existing sites and infill capacity with smaller base stations.
The penetration of micro base stations is forecast to increase to 29 percent between this year and 2013, but the largest growth in shipments will come from picocell and femtocell shipments.