CEVA Acquires RivieraWaves for $19 million

The addressable market for CEVA is expected to exceed 35 billion connected devices by 2020

Gideon Wertheizer, CEO of CEVA
Gideon Wertheizer, CEO of CEVA

The IP provider for Semiconductors computing cores, CEVA, Inc. from Herzliya, Israel, announced  that it has acquired RivieraWaves, a privately held company and a leading provider of wireless connectivity IP for Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth technologies.

Under the terms of the agreement, CEVA will pay approximately $19 million to acquire RivieraWaves. It will make an initial payment of approximately $12 million at closing with the rest payable upon satisfaction of certain performance and other milestones.

Gideon Wertheizer, CEO of CEVA, commented: “RivieraWaves in an excellent acquisition fit for CEVA, enabling us to further expand into the connectivity IP space, including the most advanced standards in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.”

RivieraWaves expands CEVA’s licensing and royalty revenue base in its existing markets: including smartphones, tablets and small cells, and extends the company’s market reach to include emerging markets such as wearables, the smart home, connected cars and the Internet of Things (IoT). Collectively, CEVA’s addressable market is expected to exceed 35 billion connected devices by 2020, according to ABI Research.

The building blocks of a universal SoC. Green blocks represent CEVA's offer after the deal
The building blocks of a universal SoC. Green blocks represent CEVA’s offer after the deal

RivieraWaves is specializing in wireless connectivity platforms for integration into high volume, System-on-Chips (SoCs). Its latest Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth Smart 4.1 IPs are complete solutions, composed of both the PHY and MAC layers along with system and RF support.

CEVA and RivieraWaves have successfully collaborated to address the Wi-Fi market for the last two years. The companies already have multiple joint customers deploying RivieraWaves’ Wi-Fi IP on a CEVA DSP targeting mobile devices and the connected home.

For more information: www.rivierawaves.com.

CEVA is A leading licensor of DSP-based IP platforms for vision, audio, communications and connectivity. In 2013, CEVA’s IP was shipped in more than one billion devices, including 40% of handsets shipped worldwide, powering smartphones from leading OEMs such as Coolpad, HTC, Huawei, Lenovo, LG, Nokia, Samsung, TCL, Xiaomi and ZTE.

For more information: www.ceva-dsp.com

EZchip to Acquire Tilera for $130 Million

Integrated chip with Tilera’s multi-core technology and EZchip’s network processing technology can to bring to market a unique processor

EZchip Semiconductor from Yoqneam, Israel, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Tilera Corporation, a privately-held US-based company that develops high-performance multi-core processors, intelligent network interface cards and white-box appliances for data-center networking equipment.

Tilera Multi-core network adapter
Tilera Multi-core network adapter

EZchip will pay Tilera’s stockholders up to $130 million in cash; of which $50 million is payable at closing and up to an additional $80 million is payable subject to certain performance milestones. The transaction has been approved by the EZchip and Tilera boards of directors and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2014.

“We welcome the Tilera team to the EZchip family. The addition of a multi-core product portfolio to EZchip expands and diversifies our product offerings and addressable markets. While our NPU portfolio and in particular our new NPS targets high-end carrier and data center equipment in which a high-performance data-plane only NPU is required, the Tilera multi-core CPUs address a wide range of data-center systems in which both data-plane and control-plane run on the multi-core CPU,” said Eli Fruchter, CEO of EZchip Semiconductor.

“Furthermore, the combination of EZchip’s and Tilera’s market-proven leading technologies, in particular EZchip’s networking expertise and Tilera’s multi-core expertise, will enable us to develop new multi-core CPUs that uniquely integrate powerful networking capabilities with the highest number of processor cores addressing a wide range of applications and market segments.”

“With this acquisition, EZchip becomes one of the leading vendors of high-performance processors for networking,” said Bob Wheeler, principal analyst at The Linley Group.

Combining CPU and NPU

Multi-core CPUs are used in network appliances, enterprise routers, cloud computing, video and voice encoders, to perform security, DPI, network monitoring, routing, load balancing, SDN and NFV for data-center and carrier network infrastructure. Typically, multi-core CPUs perform the data-plane packet-by-packet processing as well as the control-plane management and application processing. Tilera’s technology innovations have resulted in over 100 awarded and pending patents.

EZchip’s next generation NPU family, the NPS, is targeting carrier edge routers and data center networking equipment. NPS brings very high performance data-plane packet processing. Unlike the use cases for multi-core CPUs, the systems that use high-speed NPUs such as the NPS are high-end systems in which the data-plane is separate from the control-plane. In these high-end systems the control-plane is typically performed on a separate general purpose CPU.

EZchip said that Augmenting Tilera’s high core-count multi-core technology with EZchip’s high-performance network processing technology into one integrated chip, holds the potential to bring to market a unique processor that addresses the various multi-core CPU market segments with a highly differentiated solution.

Flextronics and Qualcomm joined the $12.5 million fund raising for Mantis

Mantis has developed  MV4D technology, which enables any mobile device to operate in a 3D environment. It has been selected as the 3D engine for Google’s Tango project.

Qualcomm and Flextronics invested in Mantis Vision from Petah Tikva, Israel, during a $12.5 million capital rais. Othe investors includes Sunny Optical Technology and Samsung. Mantis MV4D technology enables any mobile device to operate in a 3D environment, by combining information and can be added to any user interface or application running on mobile equipment.

Mantis 3D scanner attached to a tablet
Mantis 3D scanner attached to a tablet

MV4D technology combines and integrates information from a 3D camera modules to provide a 3D interface for games, simulated environments and more. It is based on the principles of “Structured Light Pattern” produces by the camara’s flash.

Generation of 3D information using structured light, an already known technology, is based on the principle that light or shadow projected on curved surfaces appears to be curved. Measuring the curve provides information about the curved surface on which the light is imposed. The process is further enhanced by selecting the optimal template to generate the most effective information in the shortest time.

Mantis technology is based on deployment of an electronic circuit using a camera flash to illuminate objects in a template, a camera module based on colored or infra-red (or both) light, and an algorithm analyzing the resulting image to generate 3D information about the object.

Into Google’s Tango Project

In partnership with members of both civil and military experts, it took Mantis four years to develop their technology. Mantis additionally markets their F5 Handheld 3D Scanner which enables scanning and receiving 3D object files used in medical and other industries.

Two weeks ago the company announced that MV4D technology has been selected for the Google Tango project which is designed to provide full 3D support for mobile accessories – receiving 3D data, generating 3D information and operating in a near-human 3D environment.

Amir Shahilov, Company CEO said: “Incorporation of 3D into mobile devices is a paradigmatic change similar to adding cameras to phones. This type of change arrives to the market once a decade. Our goal is to bring 3D to the masses”.

Qualcomm Ventures CEO, Moni Chasid explained his investment saying: “The investment will help both companies to quickly develop 3D technology and services for mobile devices. Qualcomm’s input will aim the Company in their development of tools for creation of new applications”.

GM of Converge: “I start my day by checking out the global weather forecast”

“We estimate that today there are about 10,000 independent distributors active globally. But 99% of them are run by one person with just a table and telephone”

Vice President and GM of Converge, Eric Checkoway
Vice President and GM of Converge, Eric Checkoway

“Converge, the largest independent component distributors, plans on widening their activities in Israel and increasing their workforce in the country”, said Eric Checkoway, Vice President and GM of Converge to Techtime during his visit to Israel. This will be a very significant step in the Israeli electronic components market since Converge is a major distributor, and according to Eric, “we are the largest independent distributor in the world”.

Living in un-perfect world

Since being acquired by Arrow Electronics in 2010, the company has not published sales figures, but in comparative surveys from before the merger they have been continually listed as one of the largest independent distributors in North America. Today Converge is active in 19 countries with large distribution facilities in Boston, Massachusetts USA, Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Singapore, and works directly with major component manufacturers around the world.

Independent distributors have a problematic Reputation. Who needs them?

Eric Checkoway: “In a perfect world there would be no need for an independent distributor. In a world without surpluses or shortages of components and where all forecasts are 100% accurate, there would be perfect equilibrium in the supply chain, and independent distributors would not be required. However, in reality, all the OEM manufacturers require the services of independent distributors during the year. Whenever there is a disruption in the supply chain, they go to the open market, and this is why there is a need for an independent distributor”.

What types of disturbances?

“After the tsunami in Japan, large quantities of components produced by Japanese organizations were purchased to safeguard against forecasted problems in the supply chain. Additionally, small local events can disturb the supply chain. In the past I started my work day by watching news on the economy. Today, I start my day by checking out the global weather forecast”.

So what is this problematic reputation I mentioned?

“We estimate that today there are about 10,000 independent distributors active globally. But 99% of them are run by one person with just a table and telephone. We call them brokers. Brokers do not hold supplies or stocks of components. They do only back-to-back deals without any quality control. They completely rely on their suppliers”.

Considered suspect until proven otherwise

Eric joined Converge in 1991 as a salesperson. In 2010, Converge was purchased by the major global components distributor Arrow Electronics and he became Vice President and GM of the Converge business unit. He is proud to point out that most Converge employees have worked at the company an average of 12 years, where the average for a salesperson is 7 years.  “This longevity demonstrates that we are a company that builds relationships and provides solutions and are not focused on a quick sale”.

How do you differ from brokers?

“We work and think in a different way. Basically everything we do is focused upon quality. We have fully-stocked warehouses and are very particular about the quality inspection of our components. It all begins with our suppliers, which are tested and filtered to our supplier scorecard. For example, we visit their sites, check their history and make inquiries about how long they have been active. You need to check that suppliers are reputable and not companies that suddenly appear today and leave the market tomorrow.  After suppliers are certified and we begin purchasing from them, we have a team of engineers that perform daily inspections of all components to ensure no substandard parts enter our supply chain”.

How do you handle the problem of fake components?

“We continually invest in equipment and employee training to  inspect components and operate according to our zero tolerance policy.  If we receive components from suppliers that do not meet our strict standards, they immediately stop being one of our suppliers. In our market, you are considered suspect until proven otherwise, so we choose our suppliers carefully. In our opinion, the war on the fake components phenomenon can be fought, but we always need to be one step ahead of the forgers. And we are taking all the necessary steps to stay ahead every day ”.

How do you fight forgery?

“The fight starts by carefully filtering suppliers all the way to performing extensive inspection on components, such as X-ray, decap and electrical tests. Sometimes tests can last for 12 weeks. When we do not have a full history and track record of a component, we send it to an external laboratory for functional tests”.

Have manufacturers learnt to handle this phenomenon?

“Up until 5 years ago, companies bought components from anyone. They considered only price and fast delivery times in their decision making. Today most customers have implementing some level of vendor inspection procedures. For example, many customers approaches us and want to check our work procedures in order to authorize us as their supplier. From our perspective, the more advanced forgers become the more attractive Converge becomes, given our ability to stay one step ahead of forgers”.

What is the aim of your visit to Israel?

“We have decided to broaden our offices in Israel, which are managed by Oren Gadel. We want to focus on the growing Israeli market, as we believe that there is room for substantial growth. Our offering suits the Israeli market since we have no limitations on the size of orders.

“We supply orders to many different market segments helping customers to grow to a level where we become their full service partner fulfilling their supply chain needs.  At the same time, we provide full traceability and inspection for companies defined as high reliability such as, security, airports, vehicles and medical equipment”.

Silicom: SmartSilc VHIO 1.0 is the outcome of Net Perform’s Acquisition

SmartSilc VHIO 1.0 provides offload support to both compute nodes and network nodes working under Red-Hat Open Stack

SILICOMSilicom Ltd. from Kfar-Sava, Israel, has announced the launch of its SmartSilc VHIO 1.0, the first product Silicom has developed utilizing the virtualization off-load engine it acquired in September 2013. The product’s virtualization off-load technology has been implemented under the emerging Cloud management standard, Red Hat Open Stack.

SmartSilc VHIO 1.0 offloads all network and storage I/O tasks from the Hypervisor, significantly reducing CPU utilization and consequently improving the performance of any compute node in which it is installed. It also implements NAT, firewall and other tasks previously carried out in the network node, and frees the network node to become an additional compute node.

“We are excited to launch our first Virtualization Off-Loading product, a totally new concept that addresses a number of the industry’s hottest trends,” commented Shaike Orbach, Silicom’s President and CEO.

Open Stack Standard

“As the industry adopts Open Stack as the de-facto standard for virtualized cloud management, a clear need has emerged for a product operating under Open Stack that addresses the primary pain point of every cloud-based environment: the difficulty of maintaining and improving performance while reducing cost, power consumption and space.”

The announcement is a result of an IP acquisition made in September 2013: Silicom has acquired all the IP related to the Virtualization Off-Load Engine developed by Net Perform Technology Ltd. (“Net Perform”), a privately held company registered in Hong Kong, China.

The Virtualization Off-Load Engine is able to off-load CPU tasks onto a separate intelligent add-on card, to free up server cycles and improving the server’s Networking and Storage I/O. Now, Silicom plans to incorporate the Virtualization Off-Load Engine into a variety of solutions, which would become Silicom Intelligent products, targeting virtualization-based operating systems, technologies and market segments.


PrivatEquity Internet Platform, Allows Employees to Sell Their Securities

A new website called PrivatEquity promise to make a fundamental change in the ways High tech employees seize their options in private growing companies.

Founder and CEO Sigalit Cohen
Founder and CEO Sigalit Cohen

The PrivatEquity website (http://www.privatequity.biz) went this week online in Israel. This trading platform, allows current and former employees who hold the securities of high-tech companies which were not issued yet, to offer the private securities they own for sale.

This means that the “exit” is transformed from a one-time event into a continuous self-governed process. The private holders of the securities can receive the money before the “official exit” and the distribution of dividends.

PrivatEquity, established by Israeli entrepreneurs, was launched this week in Israel. The founders plan to expand their activity to other countries in Europe’s and Asia’s high-tech centres in order to form international co-operations and investment opportunities for investors all over the world.

The site’s business model is based on receiving commissions from both parties after a deal was closed. The minimum amount for sale is at least 10,000$ and are held by the owner for at least one year. A private high-tech company’s employee who will offer his or her securities for sale will state the requested price. PrivatEquity will forward only the highest bid to the securities’ seller, subject to the full amount being transferred by the bidder to a trustee.

“PrivatEquity is an innovative technological platform, which is the next big thing in technology-based financial services (FinTech) and a game changer in the private stocks investments field. Millions of current and former employees of private high-tech companies all over the world hold the securities of private high-tech growth companies in various growth stages. At the same time, investors all over the world hold vast private capital and seek attractive investment offers in private high-tech companies. We allow current and former employees of high-tech companies to reach these sources of funding”, says Sigalit Cohen, PrivatEquity’s entrepreneur and CEO.

According to Cohen, “PrivatEquity’s arena allows millions of investors all over the world to establish their own investment portfolio in private high-tech growth companies. The launching of PrivatEquity is of great significance to high-tech companies’ employees, to entrepreneurs, private investors, angels and private companies’ securities holders. The platform offers a network where private people establish private companies which can grow and develop products in a smart way utilising the capital which they raise”.

GlobalFoundries and UMC Challenge TSMC in the Israeli Market

“The Israeli market gives us a unique opportunity”

Sharon Akler, DELTA Microelectronic
Sharon Akler, DELTA Microelectronic

The global semiconductor foundries, UMC and GlobalFoundries, have decided to increase their marketing efforts in Israel, to win new production orders at the expense of the dominant TSMC in the local fabless market.

Beside the specialty foundry TowerJazz in Migdal-Haemeq, the local semiconductors industry is consist of many small and medium fabless companies that design chips and send them offshore for production, mainly by TSMC.

Techtime has learned that this situation is taken as market opportunity by TSMC’s major competitors, UMC and GlobalFoundries. “We offer the Israeli market better prices and a closer technical support, since we are located in Europe'” said Sharon Akler, sales manager for Mid Europe and Israel in DELTA Microelectronic.

The Danish company won last year a position of aggregator for GlobalFoundries, and is taking care of small to medium deals. The big ones are made directly by GlobalFoundries. Following its nomination as the foundry’s rep in Europe, DELTA has started to learn the Israeli market and about 6 months began to market here its offer. “We speak with the same Israeli companies that TSMC target”, said Akler.

“TSMC and GlobalFoundries are very similar in terms of technology and services. Our process was developed in cooperation with IBM, Samsung and STMicroelectronics, and we cover the entire range of technologies that TSMC cover. Now we are beginning to develop our fabless market in Israel.”

Kurt Huang (left) and Oliver Hsieh, UMC
Kurt Huang (left) and Oliver Hsieh, UMC

Another player in this competition against TSMC domination is the Taiwanese UMC. Last week the company sent its Director of Corporate Marketing, Mr. Kurt Huang to ChipEx conference in Tel-Aviv, to introduce its capabilities to local potential costumers. The company is also planning a marketing campaign that will be managed from its European headquarter. Mr. Oliver Hsieh, Business Director EMEA in UMC, told Techtime: “The Israeli market gives us a unique opportunity. It has many development companies that shape future products”. UMC is considering now opening a permanent office in Israel.

According to the market research company IC Insights, Fabless company IC sales increased more than 3x the rate of the total IC market from 1999-2012.

The top five semiconductor sales leaders in 2012, according to its 2013 McClean Report, are Intel, Samsung, TSMC, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments. Pure-play foundries and fabless companies were the star performers for 2012 and within the top 25 ranking are three pure-play foundries (TSMC, GlobalFoundries, and UMC) and six fabless companies.