Page 7

EETE APR 2015

Philips offloads LED lighting components unit for USD2.8bn By PPaul Buckley hilips has agreed to sell an 80.1 percent stake in the company’s lighting components division for $2.8 billion to Go Scale Capital, a technology fund that will seek to build the company’s automotive LED business. The deal, which herald a bigger strategic move for Philips that will see the company spin off its main lighting division, via a stock market flotation, with the Dutch group opting to focus more on medical technology and selected consumer electronics in future. The deal is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2015 subject to regulatory approval. The newly formed company will be called Lumileds and will continue to act as a supplier to Philips. Philips, which is the world’s largest lighting manufacturer, estimates that the value the sale of the lighting components subsidiary represent $3.3 billion including debt. The lighting components division comprises an automotive lighting unit and the Lumileds LED manufacturing business. The unit made a 2014 profit of 141 million euros on sales of 1.42 billion euros. Go Scale Capital, is funded by GSR Ventures and Oak Investment Partners, has made other investments in LEDs and electric car battery technology says it plans to invest in and expand the business of using LEDs in cars. Go Scale’s past investments include Boston Power, a U.S.-based manufacturer of electric vehicle batteries, and Xin Da Yang, a Eco-EV company in China. Go Scale has offices in Hong Kong, Beijing and Silicon Valley in the USA and is an investment fund for by GSR Ventures and Oak Investment Partners. Other members are venture capital funds Asia Pacific Resource Development, Nanchang Industrial Group and GSR Capital. “There were other bidders, also good bidders, perhaps with fewer connections in the industry of semiconductors and the ability to help in building out scale,” Philips CEO Frans van Houten told reporters. Last week it was beleived that rival bidding groups led by private equity firms CVC-KKR and Bain Capital had been close to capturing Lumileds but Go Scale entered the bidding in recent weeks. Philips said it wanted to sell the subsidiary, which will be called Lumileds, because many of its customers compete with Philips. Approximately 20 percent of component sales are to Philips’ own main lighting business. Philips said the company would remain a customer which was another reason to sell to an investor that wants to keep the business strong and growing. Go Capital said it could offer Lumileds complementary technologies and manufacturing capacity that would allow it to pursue further growth and scale. Philips has described the components subsidiary as a stable cash-generator. Philips will retain a 34 percent stake in the U.S.- based LED arm. Cadence and ARM strategic partners on IP By Julien Happich Striking a broad Intellectual Property (IP) interoperability agreement, IC design tool provider Cadence and number one IP provider ARM are reinforcing their relationship with a multiyear agreement that gives them reciprocal access to relevant IP portfolios from the Cadence IP Group and ARM. Additionally, the agreement grants both companies rights to manufacture test chips containing Cadence IP and ARM IP and to provide development platforms to customers. With a full vision of each other’s IP, the agreement gives both parties the ability to test the IP interoperability in silicon, enabling Cadence and ARM to optimize performance and interoperability within systems on chip (SoCs) while accelerating time to market for their customers. The IP interoperability agreement covers existing and future ARM Cortex processors, ARM Mali GPUs, ARM CoreLink system IP, ARM Artisan physical IP, and ARM POP IP; Cadence Design IP including cores for PCI Express, MIPI, USB, HDMI, DisplayPort, Ethernet, analog, DDR/LPDDR PHY and multiple other memory and storage protocols. The idea is to make sure that different IP blocks can talk natively to each other, without adding extra layers or wrappers but instead providing as clean and direct an interface as possible between Cadence and ARMs’ IP blocks. “We gain about 11% of our revenues from IP and this is one of our fastest growing revenue streams”, told us Craig Cochran, Cadence’s VP of Marketing, “so it made sense to team up with the worldwide number one IP vendor ARM to ensure interoperability for our customers and to reduce their risks during IP integration into SoCs using our tools.” The Agreement is not exclusive in that sense that ARM could well want to strike a similar deal with competing EDA vendors, and conversely, Cadence is open to other such deals with other IP providers, so it remains to be seen if more such large-scale agreements will be struck or if this new move could entice chip designers to consolidate their tool-flow around Cadence’s offering. For Cadence’s customers, this IP cross-licensing deal could well mean new tool functionalities in the future, such as pre-integrated IP libraries with drag-and-drop proven IP combinations pre-optimized for the most recurrent use-cases. ARM being able to tape-out SoC-level test chips with Cadence IP on-board could also turn into future design recommendations for particular multi-core implementations leveraging both partners’ IP. www.electronics-eetimes.com Electronic Engineering Times Europe April 2015 7


EETE APR 2015
To see the actual publication please follow the link above