Another instalment in this year's consolidation in the silicon market appears to be on the cards, with reports emerging that microcontroller outfit Atmel is looking for a buyer.
As Reuters reports, the company's CEO, Steve Laub, is due to retire at the end of August, something that may have sparked the decision to seek acquisition.
The news-wire's anonymous sources say investment bank Qatalyst Partners has been engaged to consult on a possible acquisition for the US$4 billion outfit.
Atmel's portfolio includes microcontrollers such as ARM-based units for home appliances, touchscreen controllers for wearables like smart watches, and low-power WiFi devices for Internet of Things applications.
In March, the company was touting an ultra-low-power ARM Cortex-M microcontroller it reckoned would be able to run for “decades” between battery changes.
The last time there was a bid for Atmel, it was in the form of a hostile takeover attempt in 2008 by ON Semiconductor and Microchip Technologies, but the offer was withdrawn.
This time around, however, the speculation comes amid merger and acquisition activity like Broadcom/Avago and Intel/Altera, and hot interest from big vendors in staking out their territory in the Internet of Things. ®