Dialog to Acquire FCI, Silicon Motion’s Mobile Communications Business

Dialog Semiconductor plc announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Silicon Motion Technology Corp.’s Mobile Communications product line, branded as FCI

FCI is the global leader in Mobile TV SoCs in T-DMB and ISDB-T, with RF tuner-demodulator SoC solutions for smartphones, tablets and automotive Portable Navigation Devices (PND).  The acquisition provides Dialog with a rich portfolio of complementary Connectivity-based products that includes Ultra-Low-Power Wi-Fi System on a Chip (SoC) and Modules, Mobile TV SoCs and Mobile Communication transceiver Integrated Circuits (IC).

In Q4 2018, FCI began ramping production of their first Ultra-Low-Power Wi-Fi SoC (FC9000) and accompanied this with a range of fully Wi-Fi certified module solutions, including integrated antenna options. Their product range is designed specifically to meet the demands of battery powered IoT devices enabling direct connectivity to internet Access Points (AP), while providing banking grade security. A complete software stack together with turn-key reference designs and evaluation platforms delivers a total low-power system solution to the world’s most demanding customers.

“The acquisition of Silicon Motion’s Mobile Communications product line provides Dialog customers with Ultra-Low-Power Wi-Fi SoCs and complete modules that are certified and designed to meet the demands of today’s battery powered IoT devices,” said CEO Jalal Bagherli. “Ultra-Low-Power Wi-Fi is a strong strategic fit for Dialog with the opportunity to combine Wi-Fi and Bluetooth low energy chips and modules selling into our complementary IoT, consumer and automotive markets.” Bagherli added, “We are excited to welcome the Mobile Communications team to Dialog. Together, we will increase the value we can bring to our customers by building a more diversified low-power connectivity offering.”

Dialog is recognized as a leading semiconductor supplier in low-power technologies and has established itself as a leader for Bluetooth low energy SoCs and Configurable Mixed-Signal ICs (CMIC) across IoT applications. To date, Dialog has shipped more than 250 million units of Bluetooth low energy SoCs into IoT applications. The addition of Ultra-Low-Power Wi-Fi strongly positions Dialog to drive future integration with optimized combo solutions firmly on the roadmap.

Silicon Motion’s Mobile Communications reported approximately $30 million revenue in 2018 from all its current product lines, with sales primarily generated from its Mobile TV SoCs.  The ultra-low power performance of the new Wi-Fi product line has achieved full Wi-Fi certification and passed all interoperability tests with an extensive range of routers.   Several world class customers have already integrated both the Wi-Fi SoC and complete Wi-Fi modules into their products creating a great foundation for future revenue growth.

In addition to the current product lines, the acquisition also brings to Dialog a broad range of new technologies and engineering capabilities with extensive design expertise in RF wireless communications for cellular 4G and 5G, Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) transceiver, power amplifiers and deep sub-micron chip design.  Combined with Dialog’s extensive configurable mixed signal, low power and connectivity expertise, this acquisition will provide a platform to create and combine a range of new products.

The acquired group is primarily located near Seoul, South Korea. It shipped over 65 million SoCs in 2018 and can be found in many leading smartphone models. Dialog will fund the USD$45 million purchase price in an all-cash transaction from its balance sheet. The Board of Directors of both companies have given their approval and the transaction is expected to complete during 2019, subject to regulatory approval.

Cowen is acting as the financial advisor to Dialog, Hogan Lovells and Kim & Chang are acting as its legal counsel for the transaction.